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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Lake Traverse Man Charged with Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Lake Traverse, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for aggravated sexual abuse of a child and sexual abuse of a minor.

Okokipe Jones, age 46, was indicted on September 1, 2020.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William D. Gerdes on December 10, 2020, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

According to the indictment, in July 2010, Jones engaged in or attempted to engage in a sexual act with a child under 12 years of age.  Then again in or about 2016, Jones engaged or attempted to engage in a sexual act with the same victim.  The sexual abuse took place at a residence in Roberts County, South Dakota.

Jones faces three charges.  The maximum penalties upon conviction for Counts 1 and 2 is up to life imprisonment; Count 3 carries a maximum of up to 15 years.  Each count also carries a maximum $250,000 fine, or both fine and imprisonment; a mandatory minimum term of five (5) years, up to life, of supervised release; $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund; $5,000 assessment to the domestic trafficking fund; and restitution may be ordered. 

The charges are merely accusations and Jones is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

The investigation is being conducted by the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Sioux Tribe’s Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy R. Jehangiri is prosecuting the case.   

Jones was detained pending trial.  A trial date of February 16, 2021 has been set.

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Updated December 16, 2020