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Press Release

McLaughlin Man Sentenced for Abusive Sexual Contact

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

ABERDEEN - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced today that U.S. District Court Judge Charles B. Kornmann has sentenced a McLaughlin, South Dakota, man convicted of Abusive Sexual Contact. The sentencing took place on May 20, 2024.

Benjamin Eagle, age 62, was sentenced to ten 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.

Eagle was indicted by a federal grand jury in April of 2023. He pleaded guilty on November 20, 2023.

Around August 9, 2022, Eagle was visiting a residence in McLaughlin, within the Standing Rock Reservation. He was at the residence because he was consuming alcohol, was not getting along with his significant other, and could not be at his own residence. Eagle used force to engage in sexual contact with a nine-year-old child. The child later disclosed the abuse at a child advocacy center in Bismarck, North Dakota. Eagle admitted he had no excuse nor justification for abusing the child and knew the wrongfulness of his actions at the time of the offense.

This matter was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office because the Major Crimes Act, a federal statute, mandates that certain violent crimes alleged to have occurred in Indian Country be prosecuted in Federal court as opposed to State court.

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 Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Maher prosecuted the case.

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



Updated May 23, 2024

Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice