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Press Release

Wakpala Man Sentenced for Assault Resulting in Substantial Bodily Injury to an Intimate Partner

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

ABERDEEN - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced today that U.S District Judge Charles B. Kornmann has sentenced a Wakpala, South Dakota, man convicted of Assault Resulting in Substantial Bodily Injury to an Intimate Partner. The sentencing took place on June 10, 2024.

Phillip Lewis Young Hawk, age 45, was sentenced to 60 months 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 $100.

Young Hawk was indicted by a federal grand jury in June of 2023. He pleaded guilty on December 18, 2023.

On April 7, 2023, Young Hawk quarreled with his girlfriend on a rural roadside near Wakpala, South Dakota, which lies within the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation. Young Hawk knocked his girlfriend down, then kicked her twice with shod feet as she lay helpless on the ground, whimpering and pleading. The assault ended when Young Hawk’s brother forcibly restrained him. Young Hawk’s girlfriend briefly lost consciousness from the assault and incurred significant bruising to her face. Young Hawk has several prior convictions for domestic violence.

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 Bureau of Indian Affairs – Office of Justice Services.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl Thunem prosecuted the case.

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

Updated June 15, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime