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Press Release

Wanblee Man Pleads Not Guilty To Four Charges Of Sexual Abuse

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

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Wanblee, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for two charges of Aggravated Sexual Abuse by Force and two charges of Sexual Abuse.

Jason Poor Bear, age 39, was indicted on December 17, 2013.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on February 11, 2014, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is life imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release.

The charges relate to an incident that happened in Wanblee in May of 2013, when Poor Bear used force to engage in sexual acts with a female who was physically incapable of declining participation.  An object is alleged to have been used to accomplish some of these sexual acts.

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

The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Kelderman is prosecuting the case.

Poor Bear was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial.  A trial date has not been set.

Updated June 22, 2015