News and Press Releases

Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Sexually Abusing Minor

September 1, 2009

Reno, Nev. – Ralph James Walking Bull, Jr., of Sparks, Nevada, was sentenced on August 31, 2009, by U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks to 30 years in prison and lifetime supervised release for sexually abusing a minor, announced Greg Brower, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

"Those who prey on children will be prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice and, if convicted, will face stiff prison sentences," said U.S. Attorney Brower. "Parole was abolished in the federal justice system in 1987, meaning that, today, a 30 year sentence means 30 years behind bars."

Walking Bull, 37, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, pleaded guilty on May 18, 2009, to Aggravated Sexual Abuse and Production of Child Pornography. On February 26, 2009, in Hungry Valley, a community on the Reno Sparks Indian Colony in Sparks, Nevada, Walking Bull coerced a 10-year-old female victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct so he could take photographs of her. After taking the photographs, Walking Bull forcibly began to sexually assault the victim. Walking Bull stopped the assault after the victim started to scream and cry and told him to stop.

Judge Hicks also ordered Walking Bull to undergo mental health counseling and prohibited him from having contact with minors during the period of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, FBI, and Reno/Sparks Tribal Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sue Fahami and Megan Rachow.

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