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Winner man accused of rape, sexual contact with children deemed incompetent

WINNER—A Winner man accused of sexually assaulting two children in 2018 was determined last week to not be mentally competent to stand trial.

Myland Songer, 26, was ordered on Dec. 17 to be committed to the Human Services Center in Yankton, where he will stay until staff can determine whether or not he will be competent enough in the foreseeable future for prosecution to continue.

Songer is accused of raping a 5-year-old and having sexual contact with the same 5-year-old once and a 6-year-old twice between Jan. 25 and Oct. 21, 2018. He was arrested in November and indicted for those charges on Dec. 3.

If eventually found to be mentally competent and then convicted of the charges, Songer could spend up to life in prison for the alleged rape and up to 15 years for each of the sexual contact charges.

The defense's motion to have a psychiatrist complete a mental competency evaluation was granted on Dec. 6. The evaluation was done at Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls on Dec. 18, and a report was completed on Jan. 8.

According to court documents, the report states that "Mr. Songer is presently suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to the extent that the person is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against the person or to assist properly in his defense."

The doctor who conducted the evaluation wrote that "It is my opinion, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that Mr. Songer is not competent to proceed at this time."

State law says that a person cannot be tried, sentenced or punished for a crime while mentally incompetent.

According to the order to commit and transport which was filed on Thursday, Songer will stay in Yankton for a maximum of four months and will be evaluated in that time.

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