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Press Release

Crow Creek Man Convicted by Federal Jury for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and Child Abuse

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

PIERRE - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that James Drapeau, age 35, of Crow Creek, South Dakota, was found guilty of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and Child Abuse as a result of a two-day federal jury trial in Pierre, South Dakota. The verdict was returned on April 20, 2023.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of up to twenty years in federal prison and/or a $500,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a $200 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.

Drapeau was indicted by a federal grand jury in June of 2022. 

The evidence at trial showed that on May 24, 2022, at a residence on the Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation, Drapeau became upset with a 14-year-old boy who was in his care. Drapeau threw the boy on the ground, kicked him repeatedly, and beat him with a broom stick and extension cord. As a result of the beating, the young boy sustained considerable bruising, welts, and abrasions on his head, back, arms, torso, buttocks, and legs.   

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs – Office of Justice Services, Crow Creek Agency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley prosecuted the case.

A presentence investigation report was ordered, and sentencing has been set for July 24, 2023.  Drapeau was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing.

Updated April 21, 2023

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice