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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 9, 2022

Wagner Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of a Minor and Abusive Sexual Contact

United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a Wagner, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for two counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor and one count of Abusive Sexual Contact.

Zander Zephier, age 21, was indicted on May 3, 2022.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta L. Wollmann on June 8, 2022, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 15 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, life of supervised release, and up to $300 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The Indictment alleges that on or about January 1, 2021, Zephier knowingly engaged, and attempted to engage, in a sexual act and sexual contact with a minor female who had not attained the age of 16 years and was at least four years younger than Zephier. 

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

The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Yankton Sioux Law Enforcement.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman is prosecuting the case.   

Zephier was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial which has been set for August 16, 2022.

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Updated June 9, 2022