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Press Release

Sioux Falls Man Sentenced for Attempted Enticement of a Minor

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

SIOUX FALLS - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced today that U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier has sentenced a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, man convicted of Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet. The sentencing took place on January 29, 2024.

Jonah Earl Severson, age 24, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100. Severson will be required to register as a sex offender once he is released from federal prison.

Severson was indicted by a federal grand jury in April of 2023. He pleaded guilty on October 19, 2023. 

The conviction stemmed from incidents between March 6, 2023, and March 15, 2023, when Severson, using his cellular phone to access the social media application MeetMe, attempted to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce an undercover agent posing as a 15-year-old female to engage in sexual activity.

This case was investigated by the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Sioux Falls Police Department, Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, and the SD Internet Crimes Against Children task force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Clapper prosecuted the case.

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

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

Updated February 2, 2024

Project Safe Childhood