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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 27, 2020

Bridger Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of a Child

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Bridger, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child, Sexual Abuse of a Minor, and Abusive Sexual Contact of a Child.

Bennett Belt, age 47, was indicted on August 11, 2020.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on August 25, 2020, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to life in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, a mandatory minimum of 5 years and up to life of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The Indictment alleges that on multiple instances between July 2003 and September 2017, in Ziebach County, South Dakota, Belt knowingly engaged in and attempted to engage in abusive sexual acts with minor victims.

The charges are merely accusations and Belt is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Miller is prosecuting the case.   

Belt was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial.  A trial date has not been set.

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Updated August 27, 2020