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Press Release

Oglala Man Sentenced to Life Imprisonment

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

RAPID CITY - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced today that U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier has sentenced an Oglala, South Dakota, man convicted of Kidnapping, Aggravated Sexual Abuse by Force, Interstate Domestic Violence, Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, and Assault by Strangulation of a Dating Partner. The sentencing took place on February 10, 2023.

Jesse Sierra, a/k/a Jesse Sierro, 37, was sentenced to Life imprisonment for Kidnapping and Aggravated Sexual Abuse by Force. Sierra was also sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on the convictions for Interstate Domestic Violence, Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, and Assault by Strangulation of a Dating Partner. Each of the sentences was ordered to run concurrently. He was also ordered to pay $500 in special assessments to the Federal Crime Victims Fund and $8,395.79 in restitution.

Sierra was indicted for the charges by a federal grand jury in August of 2019. He was found guilty following a federal jury trial in Rapid City in October of 2022. Also indicted with Jesse Sierra was his brother, Dustin Sierra, who was also convicted of various offenses arising out of the same event.

The convictions related to Jesse Sierra and his brother, Dustin Sierra, traveling to the female victim’s place of employment in July of 2019 and convincing her to leave with them. When Dustin Sierra began driving the female to the Pine Ridge Reservation, Jesse Sierra wrapped his arm around her neck and strangled her until she became unconscious. Each time the female regained consciousness, Jesse Sierra strangled her again. Between July 13, 2019, and July 17, 2019, Jesse Sierra took the female to a number of locations on the Pine Ridge Reservation against her will. Jesse inflicted multiple physical and sexual assaults upon the female during the time he held her against her will. Around July 17, 2019, Dustin Sierra drove Jesse Sierra and the female to Chadron, Nebraska. Jesse Sierra then hid her in a motel in Crawford, Nebraska. On July 21, 2019, Jesse dropped her off at the emergency room in Chadron. Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies searched for the victim from July 14, 2019, until she was located at the Chadron hospital on July 21, 2019.

This case was investigated by the FBI, Rapid City Police Department, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Box Elder Police Department, Dawes County Sheriff’s Office, Chadron Police Department, and the Nebraska State Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heather Sazama and Kelsey Blair prosecuted the case.

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



Updated February 15, 2023

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice