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Press Release

Todd County Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison for Sexual Abuse of a Minor and Abusive Sexual Contact

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

PIERRE - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced today that Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court, has sentenced a Todd County, South Dakota, man convicted of Sexual Abuse of a Minor and Abusive Sexual Contact. The sentencing took place on April 15, 2024.

Derek Sharpfish, age 33, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $300 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Sharpfish was indicted by a federal grand jury in April of 2023. He pleaded guilty on January 2, 2024.

The convictions stem from conduct involving two different victims that occurred between October of 2020 and January of 2023 within the Rosebud Indian Reservation. On multiple instances during that period, Sharpfish engaged in sexual intercourse with a minor female who was between the ages of 13 and 15-years-old. On one occasion during that period, Sharpfish groped an adult female while she was sleeping.

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

This matter was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office because the Major Crimes Act, a federal statute, mandates that certain violent crimes alleged to have occurred in Indian Country be prosecuted in federal court as opposed to State court.

This case was investigated by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services and the FBI.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Albertson prosecuted the case.   

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

Updated April 19, 2024

Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice