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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 17, 2013

Iowa Man Sentenced For Commercial Sex Trafficking

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Hull, Iowa man convicted of commercial sex trafficking was sentenced on June 17, 2013 by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.

Ronald Bonestroo, age 59, was sentenced to 10 years in custody, 5 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Bonestroo was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 2, 2011. On November 8, 2011 he was convicted by a federal jury on the charge of commercial sex trafficking.

The conviction stems from an incident that took place on February 10, 2011 when Bonestroo replied to an online advertisement posted by undercover police officers. Bonestroo arranged to pay for sex with what he believed would be two 14-year-old girls in Sioux Falls. He was arrested after he arrived at the undercover location. After a one-day trial, a federal jury found Bonestroo guilty of commercial sex trafficking.

On January 4, 2012, U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier issued an Order Granting Defendant’s Motion for Judgment of Acquittal and released Bonestroo from custody. The Government appealed that decision to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. On January 7, 2013 the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals entered a Judgment reversing the U.S. District Court’s Judgment of Acquittal and reinstated Bonestroo’s conviction.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, the South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office, and the Sioux Falls Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Clapper prosecuted the case. Bonestroo was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney offices and the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Updated June 22, 2015