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Press Release

Wagner Woman Sentenced for Multiple Abuse Counts

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 Lawrence L. Piersol has sentenced a Wagner, South Dakota, woman convicted of six counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and two counts of Felony Child Abuse. The sentencing took place on November 27, 2023.

Tina Sully, age 53, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $800.

Sully was indicted by a federal grand jury in February of 2022. She was found guilty of six counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and two counts of Felony Child Abuse, following a four-day jury trial in federal district court in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on September 15, 2023.

Sully was a foster and adoptive mother to several children. The jury convicted her of unlawfully assaulting and cruelly punishing two of them, including beating them with belts and hangers and withholding food from them for days, between the years of 2003 and 2021.

This case was investigated by the FBI, Yankton Sioux Law Enforcement, and the Charles Mix County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ann M. Hoffman and Elizabeth Ebert prosecuted the case.

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.

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

Updated November 28, 2023

Violent Crime