Black Hawk Man Sentenced to 17 ½ Years in Federal Prison for Sex Crimes
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota
RAPID CITY - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced today that U.S. District Judge Jeffrey L. Viken has sentenced a Black Hawk, South Dakota, man convicted of Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet, and Attempted Receipt of Child Pornography. The sentencing took place on February 6, 2023.
Stephen Fontenot, Jr., 40, was sentenced to 17 ½ years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release for Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. Additionally, Fontenot was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet, and five years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for Attempted Receipt of Child Pornography. Fontenot’s sentences will run concurrently. Fontenot was also ordered to pay a $300 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund and will be required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
Fontenot was indicted by a federal grand jury in August of 2021. He was found guilty at trial on November 3, 2022.
Fontenot was arrested and federally indicted as a result of an undercover sex trafficking operation conducted during the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, targeting internet predators. Following multiple sexually explicit chats and text messages with a person Fontenot believed to be a 12-year-old girl, but who was in fact an undercover agent, Fontenot proceeded to negotiate a time and place he would meet the minor to engage in unlawful sex acts. When Fontenot went to the pre-determined location to meet the minor, he was instead met by law enforcement agents and placed under arrest.
This case was investigated by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, Homeland Security Investigations, Rapid City Police Department, and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah B. Collins prosecuted the case.
Fontenot was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Updated February 7, 2023
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