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Justice News

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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pine Ridge Man Charged With Aggravated Sexual Abuse By Force

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Pine Ridge, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Aggravated Sexual Abuse by Force and Sexual Abuse.

Ryan Bissonette, age 33, was indicted on June 17, 2014.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on September 5, 2014, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is life imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine, up to life of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The charges relate to Bissonette forcefully engaging in a sexual act with a female, who was physically incapable of declining participation, on August 8, 2013, near Pine Ridge.

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

The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Kelderman is prosecuting the case.

Bissonette was released on bond pending trial.  A trial date has been set for November 4, 2014.    

Updated June 22, 2015