Man allegedly rapes woman at Sioux Falls women's shelter - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Man allegedly rapes woman at Sioux Falls women's shelter

Posted: Updated:
Sioux Falls Police arrested a man it believes broke into a local women's shelter and raped a woman.

Public Information Officer Sam Clemens said Heath Bigeagle, 47, allegedly entered the shelter through a window sometime between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Monday.  He attacked the woman while a baby slept in the same room.  The victim knew her attacker. Bigeagle left through the same window and was caught later that morning at a home in the 200 block of S. Summit Avenue.

Bigeagle is charged with second degree rape, first degree burglary, and a protection order violation.

KSFY News spoke with another shelter in town to find out the steps women and domestic abuse shelters may take to keep safe.

The rape didn't happen at Children's Inn, but KSFY News asked them if protection orders offer just a false sense of security.

It was early Monday morning when Bigeagle allegedly attacked a woman while she slept at a Sioux Falls shelter called My Sister Friends House. 

Children's Inn operations director Amy Carter said "abusers, when they have nothing left to lose they'll do just about anything sometimes."

Carter tells us there are different ways to help women feel secure. One of the first steps may be a protection order.

"Protection orders are a wonderful tool. They really do, they can help a lot. If a person has a protection order against their abuser and that person violates that, that person can immediately be arrested," Carter said.

"We don't want women to think it's a false sense of security, it's a step in the right direction of being safe. It's one more tool in their tool kit to keep them safe," Carter added.

Seeking shelter from abuse is another.

"Women who are abused, there's so many factors that go into it when they make that choice to leave. They have to give up so many things. They're giving up their financial security a lot of times. They're often times losing friends or family, and they may even have to leave their children," Carter said.

And at Children's Inn, its sign out front tells its mission.

"Safety is our number one priority. When people come to Children's Inn, whether they're staying with us or just coming to talk with somebody. We talk a lot about safety planning, how can we keep you safe, whether you're staying with us or not," Carter said.

My Sister Friends House executive director Lisa Heth, released a statement in reaction to the attack that happened there.

The full statement from My Sister Friends House may be found below.
  • Iowa man charged with murder of elderly mother

    Iowa man charged with murder of elderly mother

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:29 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:29:59 GMT
    The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office issued an arrest warrant for 44-year-old Jonathon Neunaber on Thursday charging him with 1st Degree Murder in connection to the deaths of mother, Esther Grace Neunaber earlier this month.More >>
    The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office issued an arrest warrant for 44-year-old Jonathon Neunaber on Thursday charging him with 1st Degree Murder in connection to the deaths of mother, Esther Grace Neunaber earlier this month.More >>
  • Rapid City School Board imposing teacher contract

    Rapid City School Board imposing teacher contract

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:54:45 GMT
    The Rapid City School Board is imposing its final contract offer to teachers after months of negotiations failed to produce an agreement.More >>
    The Rapid City School Board is imposing its final contract offer to teachers after months of negotiations failed to produce an agreement.More >>
  • Suspect in officer's killing has extensive record

    Suspect in officer's killing has extensive record

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:45 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:45:50 GMT
    Brian Fitch, wanted in shooting of Mendota Heights police officer.Brian Fitch, wanted in shooting of Mendota Heights police officer.
    The suspect in the killing of a Mendota Heights police officer has an extensive criminal record.More >>
    The suspect in the killing of a Mendota Heights police officer has an extensive criminal record.More >>
  • South Dakota man sentenced for scissor attack in North Dakota

    South Dakota man sentenced for scissor attack in North Dakota

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:37:23 GMT
    A South Dakota man has been sentenced to six years in prison for attacking a female store clerk with a pair of scissors in the southeastern North Dakota city of Wahpeton.More >>
    A South Dakota man has been sentenced to six years in prison for attacking a female store clerk with a pair of scissors in the southeastern North Dakota city of Wahpeton.More >>
  • First plea agreements signed in lottery scam case

    First plea agreements signed in lottery scam case

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:45 AM EDT2014-07-31 10:45:07 GMT
    Three people have agreed to plead guilty in a Jamaican Lottery Scam targeting elderly victims in the Dakotas and elsewhere.More >>
    Three people have agreed to plead guilty in a Jamaican Lottery Scam targeting elderly victims in the Dakotas and elsewhere.
    More >>
  • Orchestra plans statehood performance in Capitol

    Orchestra plans statehood performance in Capitol

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:31 AM EDT2014-07-31 10:31:06 GMT
    Classical music lovers can mark South Dakota's 125th anniversary of statehood and see what the state says will be the first full orchestra performance in the Capitol with more than 50 members.More >>
    Classical music lovers can mark South Dakota's 125th anniversary of statehood and see what the state says will be the first full orchestra performance in the Capitol with more than 50 members.
    More >>
  • Runners ready to fight off zombies

    Runners ready to fight off zombies

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:03 AM EDT2014-07-31 09:03:17 GMT
    It's a 4 kilometer run with over 40 obstacles along the way. If that's not enough, runners will be fighting off zombies too. Things like climbing walls, mud pits and a corn maze full of zombies will all be found on the course for the Z Warrior Run Saturday.More >>
    It's a 4 kilometer run with over 40 obstacles along the way. If that's not enough, runners will be fighting off zombies too. Things like climbing walls, mud pits and a corn maze full of zombies will all be found on the course for the Z Warrior Run Saturday.More >>
  • Sioux Falls home vandalized

    Sioux Falls home vandalized

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:30 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:30:34 GMT
    Gang graffiti has been in Sioux Falls for years. Police determined some tags from 2012 were gang related. Former City Councilor Vernon Brown's house has been hit twice in that many years.More >>
    Gang graffiti has been in Sioux Falls for years. Police determined some tags from 2012 were gang related. Former City Councilor Vernon Brown's house has been hit twice in that many years.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.