Skip to main content
Press Release

Federal jury convicts Lame Deer pastor of sexually abusing children on Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

BILLINGS  — A federal jury today convicted a Lame Deer pastor of sexually abusing three children while they were staying at his home, on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

After a six-day trial that began on Dec. 4, the jury found Dean Alan Smith, 67, guilty of aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact by force and two counts of abusive sexual contact by force and of a child. Smith faces a maximum of life in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years to a lifetime of supervised release. The jury acquitted Smith of one count of abusive sexual contact of a child.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. The court set sentencing for April 10, 2024. Smith was remanded into custody pending further proceedings.

“Pastor Dean Smith led a double life, one as a Pastor and the other as a sexual abuser of young children.  I am thrilled the jury held Smith accountable for sexually abusing these victims and I hope holding him accountable will help the victims start the long road of healing from the trauma they’ve suffered.  Obtaining justice is the hallmark of the work of both our office and our federal law enforcement partners and we have no greater responsibility than pursuing justice for victims of sexual abusers.  Today’s verdicts validate our continued unwavering pursuit of those abusers, for which all of us, as well as the victims in this case and their families, are grateful,” U.S. Attorney Laslovich said.

The government alleged in court documents and at trial that Smith was the pastor of a local church in Lame Deer, on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, and that during his time on the reservation, he and his wife housed several foster children and temporarily hosted other children from the community. In approximately 2021 and 2022, four girls, identified as Jane Does 1, 2, 3 and 4, disclosed being sexually abused by Smith between 2017 and 2020 when they were staying or living at Smith’s home. The government alleged that Smith abused each of them, separately and in private, on multiple occasions. All of the victims were under the age of 12 at the time.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case. The FBI conducted the investigation.



Clair J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer



Updated December 11, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-459