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Press Release

Fort Thompson Man Sentenced for Abusive Sexual Contact of a Child

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 Fort Thompson, South Dakota, man convicted of Abusive Sexual Contact of a Child. The sentencing took place on May 1, 2023.

Carl Estes, age 22, was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Estes was indicted by a federal grand jury in September of 2021. He pleaded guilty on January 19, 2023.

In the spring/summer of 2021, Estes was living with his girlfriend in Fort Thompson, on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation. Estes was observed touching the genitalia of his girlfriend’s child, who was five years old at the time of the offense. Estes admitted to investigators that he had sexually abused the victim and drew a diagram indicating which part of his hand he used in the sexual assault.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley prosecuted the case.

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

Updated May 3, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice