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Tales from the Apparatus: The Teddy Guzman Story

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The opinions, statements, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this session are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the conference hosts.

In 2017, what started as a childhood slumber party turned into a multi-victim rape investigation. Follow the case of Theodore Guzman from first disclosure through trial (and a re-trial!) after an extensive investigation yields four child sexual assault victims. A shocking case of disappointment, surprise, tears and ultimately triumph – it is ultimately the story of why we do what we do.

This presentation will highlight the value of medical evidence, forensic interviews, foster parents, social workers, investigators and prosecutors (all of us, whom the defense team called “The Apparatus” in closing arguments) and why a multi-disciplinary approach and team are invaluable to the protection of child sexual assault victims.

Presented by Lara Roetzel, Kelsey Blair, Ryan Gebhard, Tifanie Petro
Community Response to Child Abuse Conference 2022

Lara R. Roetzel, Interim State’s Attorney, Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office For twenty-six years, Lara has been passionately advocating for victims, for justice and striving to prosecute the right people for the right reasons. She specializes in crimes of sexual violence and violence against women. In 2017, Lara was named the South Dakota Prosecutor of the Year by the South Dakota State’s Attorney Association.

Kelsey Weber-Blair, Assistant United States Attorney, District of South Dakota Kelsey is an Assistant United States Attorney, prosecuting Violent Crime in Indian Country and cases under Project Safe Childhood. Prior to that, she spent four years as a Deputy State’s Attorney in Pennington County were she prosecuted violent felonies, sexual assaults and crimes against children. In 2021, Kelsey was named the Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year for Pennington County.

Ryan Gebhard, Detective, Rapid City Police Department Ryan entered on duty with the Rapid City Police Department in 2012. After spending time as a patrol officer, Detective Gebhard was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division as a Detective with the Sex Crimes Unit. In 2019, Detective Gebhard was transferred to the UNET were he focuses primarily on larger drug conspiracies in the Rapid City area.

Tifanie Petro, Advocacy and Prevention Program Director, Children’s Home Child Advocacy Center, Rapid City Tifanie Petro, MS, provides forensic interviews, court room testimony, and comprehensive trainings rooted in understanding trauma and recognizing and responding to child abuse. Tifanie received her BS degree in Psychology from Black Hills State University, her MS in Public Health and Human Services from Capella University, Minnesota.