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Press Release

Historic Agreement Places New Prosecutor On Standing Rock Reservation To Prosecute Violence Against Women Cases

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

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced the appointment of Erin Shanley as Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. She was sworn in March 4, 2013 at the District Court Chambers in Pierre, South Dakota by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Shanley started her duties on January 14, 2013 and is headquartered at Standing Rock Tribal Court, Office of the Prosecutor, in Fort Yates, North Dakota.

The addition of a special tribal prosecutor is a result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) and the United States Attorneys’ Offices in the District of South Dakota and the District of North Dakota. The MOU was signed on July 10, 2012 at SRST headquarters.

The MOU was a historic agreement between the SRST and the United States Department of Justice. The agreement authorized the hiring of a Tribal SAUSA to prosecute violence against women cases in federal and tribal courts. The funding for this new position is provided by a grant from the Justice Department’s Office on Violence against Women.

U.S. Attorney Johnson is past Chairman of the Justice Department’s Native American Issues Subcommittee. In that capacity, Johnson spearheaded this initiative and he wrote and submitted the proposal for the creation of this position to address the unique jurisdictional issues of the Standing Rock Reservation. During his time as U.S. Attorney, he has made the prosecution of cases involving violence against women a top priority.

Shanley will handle the prosecution of cases involving domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking that are committed within the boundaries of the SRST. She will have authority to pursue those cases in federal court in both South Dakota and North Dakota, as well as in Standing Rock Tribal Court. She will work in close collaboration with Assistant U.S. Attorneys in both states on these cases.

Shanley is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Prior to this appointment, she was Assistant Prosecutor for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe in Arizona.

Updated June 22, 2015