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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 8, 2018

Little Eagle Man Sentenced for Child Abuse, Assaults, and Child Pornography

Acting United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that a Little Eagle, South Dakota, man convicted in two separate trials of three counts of Child Abuse, three counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, and Receipt of Images Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of Minors was sentenced on January 4, 2018, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.

Chavez Spotted Horse, age 41, was sentenced to 76 months in custody, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $600 on the Child Abuse and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon charges, resulting from a jury trial conviction on October 19, 2017.  Spotted Horse was also sentenced to 78 months in custody, followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100 on the Receipt of Child Pornography charge, resulting from a jury trial conviction on November 8, 2017.  The sentences are to be served consecutively to one another.

Spotted Horse was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 19, 2017, and again on March 15, 2017. 

Following a 3-day federal jury trial held between October 17, 2017, and October 19, 2017, in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Spotted Horse was found guilty of three counts of Child Abuse and three counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.

Following a 3-day federal jury trial held between November 6, 2017, and November 8, 2017, in Aberdeen, Johnson was found guilty of two counts of Receipt of Imaging Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of Minors and Possession of Child Pornography.  The Possession of Child Pornography charge was later dismissed by the Government.

The convictions on the Child Abuse and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon charges stem from an incident on December 1, 2016, when the Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement was summoned to a school in Little Eagle, to investigate a reported child abuse matter.  Upon arrival, officers made contact with the 11-year-old victim, who was visibly bruised over large portions of her body.

The victim informed the officer that Spotted Horse started to question her about boys.  The victim stated that when she did not answer his questions, Spotted Horse started to beat her on her legs and back with a plastic kitchen spoon, a rod, and a plastic hanger.  As a result of the assault, the victim suffered serious bruising to her legs and back.

The conviction on the Child Pornography charge stems from an incident in the fall of 2015, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation received information indicating a computer in Little Eagle was accessing child pornography.  A search warrant was obtained and the home of Spotted Horse was searched.  Computers and hard drives were seized pursuant to the search warrant.  Spotted Horse provided passwords to the computers and admitted to viewing and receiving child pornography on the computers, over the internet on specialized websites, including sexually explicit pictures of young children. 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Standing Rock Agency, the Department of Homeland Security Homeland Security Investigations, the North Dakota Crime Bureau’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation-Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the BIA-OJS Standing Rock Agency.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley prosecuted the case.

Spotted Horse was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated January 8, 2018