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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bonesteel Woman Sentenced For Child Abuse

United  States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Bonesteel, South Dakota, woman convicted of Child Abuse was sentenced on February 11, 2014, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Maria Janis, age 35, was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in custody, 3 years supervised release, a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund and $17,123 in restitution.

Janis was indicted for Child Abuse by a federal grand jury on April 12, 2013.  She pled guilty on November 19, 2013.

Janis, her husband Robert Prue, and several minor children have lived in several states, including Arizona and Washington State before they moved to South Dakota and the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in the spring of 2011.  Over an extended period of time, Janis learned Prue was sexually abusing some of the children.  Janis said she believed the children when they told her about the abuse, but would leave the children in Prue’s supervision nonetheless.  Janis was also aware Prue had methamphetamine and alcohol problems during the time he was around the children.

Once in South Dakota, Janis learned Prue was persisting in his efforts to sexually abuse some of the children.  Janis did not take steps to protect the children, but continued to expose them to harm by leaving them with Prue while she would leave the house.  Between June 22, 2011, and September 22, 2011, while in South Dakota, Prue engaged in efforts to accomplish sexual acts with one of the victims, a minor. 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Maher prosecuted the case.

Janis was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated June 22, 2015