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Hughes County Victim Advocate Recognized for Years of Service

Denise Richards

Denise Richards (red dress) was recognized by Central South Dakota Child Assessment Center, a department of Avera St. Mary’s Hospital and partner agency to Capital Area United Way, at this year’s Pierre Area Charitable Organizations Philanthropy Luncheon. As the Victim Advocate for the Hughes County State’s Attorney’s Office for 19 ½ years, Denise played a vital role for children and families in Pierre and Fort Pierre. After their medical evaluations for abuse or neglect at the Child Assessment Center; children would receive ongoing support, courtroom preparation, and advocacy by an individual who put her heart, knowledge, and strength into every case.

Denise graduated from the University of South Dakota with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Social Work in 1986 and began working as a Social Worker with Child Protection Services in Sioux Falls upon graduation.  Afterwards, she would go on to work at the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney’s Office in 1990 as the Victim Advocate, while pursuing a master’s degree in Counseling.  In 1994, Denise obtained her Master’s of Science (MS) from SDSU and became certified K-12 as a school counselor.  The year following, she resigned from the position at the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney’s Office to move to Pierre.

In 1997, Denise began working at the Hughes County State’s Attorney’s Office as the Victim Advocate and held that position for 19 1/2 years. Here, she worked with victims of Sexual Assault, Rape, Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Aggravated Assault, family members of Murder victims, Stalking and many more.


Those in attendance supporting Denise included Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney Tim Maher, Hughes County States Attorney Wendy Kloeppner, retired Magistrate Judge Mark Smith, Central SD Child Assessment Center Coordinator Angela Lisburg, and family Karl Richards and Sandy and Len Sheppard. The Child Assessment Center thanks you, Denise!

Written by:

Angela Lisburg, Coordinator

Central South Dakota Child Assessment Center

The Child Advocacy Centers of South Dakota

CACSD is a network of Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient – and put the needs of child victims first.

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