United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Ronnie Fire Cloud, age 38, of Eagle Butte, South Dakota, was convicted of Attempted Aggravated Sexual Abuse and Abusive Sexual Contact as a result of a federal jury trial in Pierre, South Dakota. Fire Cloud was found not guilty of Aggravated Sexual Abuse by Force.
The conviction carries a maximum penalty of any term of years, up to life, of imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine and a mandatory minimum term of supervised release of 5 years, up to life. A special assessment of $200 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund will also be ordered.
The conviction stems from an incident occurring on November 2, 2012. Fire Cloud allowed the victim, who was a house guest, to use his shower. While she was showering, Fire Cloud entered the bathroom, fondled her, and attempted to rape her. The victim was able to escape the bathroom, flee the residence and contact the authorities.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Standing Rock Agency, the National Park Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley.
A presentence investigation report was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for April 21, 2014.
Fire Cloud was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing.