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Press Release

Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation Man sentenced to 30 years in Federal Prison for Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Minor Child

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

Fargo – United States Attorney Drew Wrigley announced that U.S. District Court Chief Judge Peter D. Welte has sentenced Roger Ricky Counts, age 52 of Dunseith, ND, to 30 years in federal prison for Aggravated Sexual Abuse, 18 USC 2241(c). Judge Welte also sentenced Counts to lifetime supervised release and $100 in special assessment fees.

In July 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began investigating Roger Counts for the sexual abuse of minors after an eight year old child disclosed that Counts had sexually abused the child. Counts was serving as foster parent for the victim at the time the abuse occurred, and had served as a foster parent for other children in the Turtle Mountain community. A jury found Counts guilty of aggravated sexual abuse of a child on February 14, 2020.

"The defendant’s horrifying conduct was magnified by his abuse of the trust placed in him as a foster parent," said United States Attorney Drew Wrigley, "and the child victim was courageous to come forward and share the truth about these crimes so that justice could be served."

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Greenley.

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Terry W. Van Horn 701-297-7458

Updated October 18, 2021