News and Press Releases

St. Francis Man Sentenced for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

February 17, 2012
Contact: Mark E. Salter
Assistant United States Attorney

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a St. Francis, South Dakota, man charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender was sentenced on February 15, 2012, by United States District Judge Roberto A. Lange. Vernon Blackhorse, age 61, was sentenced to 6 months in custody, 4 months of home confinement, 5 years of supervised release, a fine of $1,000, and a $100 special assessment to the Victim Assistance Fund.

Blackhorse was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 13, 2011, and pled guilty to the charge on November 29, 2011.

Blackhorse was convicted of incest and second degree rape in 1991. The court sentenced Blackhorse to 25 years' imprisonment and ordered that he register as a sex offender for life. Blackhorse was paroled and released on October 2, 2000. In 2003, Blackhorse relocated to the Rosebud Reservation and did not register as a sex offender until December 6, 2010. On February 11, 2011, Blackhorse moved from his residence and failed to register his new address within 3 days of moving. He also failed to register for the quarter of March 2011 as required by his status as a sex offender.

The investigation was conducted by the United States Marshal's Service and Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marie H. Ruettgers.

Blackhorse was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal.

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