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Press Release

Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation Man sentenced to 30 years in Federal Prison for Sexually Abusing Six Children

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 Decoteau, age 65 of Belcourt, ND, to 30 years and 5 months in federal prison for Abusive Sexual Contact, 18 USC 2244. Judge Welte also sentenced Decoteau to lifetime supervision, to register as a sexual offender, and $200 in special assessment fees.

In November 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began investigating Roger Decoteau for the sexual abuse of minors after an eight year old child disclosed that Decoteau had sexually abused the child. The FBI continued its investigation, eventually securing evidence that Decoteau had sexually abused six children. The children were all under the age of 12 when Decoteau abused them, and each of the children viewed Decoteau as a trusted adult and foster parent. Decoteau has served as a foster parent in the Turtle Mountain community for nearly a decade.

On May 6, 2019, Decoteau was arrested and charged for multiple counts of child sexual abuse. Decoteau admitted to sexually abusing three minor females, claiming that he was "feeling helpless" so he "turned to the helpless."

"The defendant preyed upon children he had a responsibility to protect," said US Attorney Drew Wrigley, "and his deplorable exploitation of these children all but ensures that the final decades of his life will be spent in federal prison."

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Northern Plains Children’s Advocacy Center, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dawn M. Deitz.

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Terry W. Van Horn 701-297-7458

Updated April 18, 2023