Justice Department Secures Agreement with South Dakota Hotel and Sports Lounge to Resolve Allegations of Discrimination Against Native Americans
United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Eric Murphy, age 28, of Rapid City, South Dakota, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on October 21, 2013, and pled guilty to a charge of Attempted Trafficking with Respect to Involuntary Servitude and Forced Labor.
The charge carries a maximum penalty upon conviction of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. Murphy will be required to register as a sex offender.
On August 3, 2013, as part of a sex-trafficking undercover operation during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Murphy was arrested for attempting to obtain sex with a 12-year old girl. Murphy responded to a law enforcement-generated internet advertisement which advertised sex with a fictitious 12 or 13 year-old girl and negotiated the terms of the sexual encounter. Murphy then met with an undercover agent posing as someone who could provide a young girl, and was subsequently arrested.
The investigation was conducted by the South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Rapid City Police Department, the Pennington County Sheriff’s office, and the Meade County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah B. Collins.
A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date will be set. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing.