SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – While legal actions in the alleged case of rape and coverup in the Mitchell American Legion baseball program are ongoing, it isn’t the first time a Mitchell baseball coach has been linked to this kind of a case.
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, it was discovered that a well-known and respected baseball program leader and coach in the community had been sexually abusing boys for almost a decade.
Ron Dahme coached youth baseball in Mitchell for more than a decade. He also taught Sunday school. In addition, he spent 15 years coaching park and rec baseball before forming a traveling team, the Mitchell Mavericks.
Over the course of eight years, from 1998 to 2004, he molested three boys who were between the ages of 14 and 16.
In July 2008, when Dahme was a travel baseball coach, he owned up to what he did. He admitted to a Davison County judge that he touched the boys inappropriately for his own gratification.
The former youth athletics coach convicted of sexual misconduct with a child was sentenced to three decades behind bars.
Ronald Arthur Dahme, 45, received 30 years in the state penitentiary for his conviction on three counts of sexual contact with a child younger than 16.
That September, he apologized to his victims and was sentenced to 30 years in prison in the South Dakota state penitentiary.
A story in the Mitchell Republic quoted Judge Tim Bjorkman during the sentencing phase.
“Your conduct is going to have a chilling effect on many lives down the road,” Bjorkman said before handing down the sentence. “These acts clearly took place for at least a decade, so that was a conscious choice to take advantage of young lives which occurred and reoccurred and reoccurred.
“There is nothing but brokenness when I look at this case — your life and the victim’s life.”
Dahme could be released soon. The now 61-year-old is set to have his first parole hearing in 2025.