Skip to main content
Press Release

Crow Creek Man Sentenced 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 today that Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court, has sentenced a Crow Creek, South Dakota, man convicted of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and Child Abuse. The sentencing took place on July 31, 2023.

James Drapeau, 35, was sentenced to two years and four months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $200 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Drapeau was indicted of the same charges by a federal grand jury in June of 2022. He pleaded not guilty and a jury trial was held in April of 2023. The jury found Drapeau guilty of both offenses.

Drapeau was convicted of assaulting his 14-year-old step-son, who was living in a home within the Crow Creek Reservation with Drapeau. Drapeau, frustrated over a perceived slight, beat the young victim relentlessly, with a broomstick and electrical cord. The victim was able to escape the back bedroom in which he was confined and run to the front living room. Drapeau caught up to the victim, threw him to the ground and proceeded to kick him about the body with shod feet. The young victim sustained significant bruising on his head, lower back, arms, buttocks, and legs as a result of the assault. 

This matter was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office because the Major Crimes Act, a federal statute, mandates that certain violent crimes alleged to have occurred in Indian country be prosecuted in Federal court as opposed to State court.

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.

Drapeau was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.



Updated July 31, 2023

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice