Pine Ridge Man Guilty Of Sexually Abusing A Minor
United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Benjamin Leonard, age 57, of Pine Ridge, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on December 21, 2012, and pled guilty to Sexual Abuse of a Minor. The Magistrate Judge is expected to recommend Leonard’s plea be accepted by the District Court. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 15 years' imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.
Between June and August 2010, near Pine Ridge, Leonard engaged in a sexual act with a child under the age of 16. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah B. Collins.
A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for April 2, 2013. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending acceptance of this plea and sentencing.