Federal Jury Convicts Sisseton Man for Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child and Abusive Sexual Contact
SIOUX FALLS - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a federal jury has convicted Thomas Avery Drum, age 59, of Sisseton, South Dakota, of Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child and Abusive Sexual Contact following a three-day jury trial in federal district court in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The verdict was returned on November 15, 2023.
Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child carries a mandatory minimum of 30 years and a maximum penalty of up to life in custody; Abusive Sexual Contact carries any term of years and a maximum penalty of up to life in custody. Each conviction carries the possible maximum of a $250,000 fine, and a required a mandatory minimum of five years to life of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
Drum was indicted by a federal grand jury in October of 2022.
According to evidence presented at trial, between August of 2014 and August of 2015, Drum knowingly engaged in at least one sexual act and contact with a child under the age of 12. The sexual abuse took place at Drum’s residence on the Lake Traverse Reservation near the town of Sisseton. At the time of the abuse, Drum was approximately 50 years of age, while the victim was seven.
This case was investigated by the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe’s Law Enforcement and the FBI.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy R. Jehangiri is prosecuting the case.
A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date has been set for May 20, 2024. Drum was ordered to self-surrender on November 27, 2023.