Court rules documents in Sanford case must be unsealed

The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that documents from a child pornography investigation into billionaire banker T. Denny Sanford must be unsealed.

Sanford was not charged after an investigation by the South Dakota attorney general’s office. He sought to stop the release of affidavits used to issue search warrants in the case. But the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and ProPublica went to court seeking access to the documents.

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a circuit court appropriately exercised its discretion in deciding that the affidavits should be unsealed.

Sanford, the founder of First Premier Bank in South Dakota, is a noted philanthropist. The Sanford Health system is named for him.


April 7, 2023