Standing Rock tribal council member guilty of domestic assaultNew habitual offender law used that takes into account previous convictions in federal, state and tribal courts.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A federal grand jury in South Dakota convicted a Standing Rock Sioux tribal council member of habitual domestic assault, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson said.
Kerby St. John was convicted this week for an incident that took place in July 2011 in Kenel, a community on the Standing Rock reservation, Johnson said in a news release. The reservation spans the North Dakota-South Dakota border.
The case is believed to be one of the first in the nation involving a new federal statute that punishes acts of domestic violence in which an accused person has two prior convictions of domestic violence in federal, state or tribal courts. St. John was previously convicted twice in tribal court for domestic assault.
"Our approach to addressing domestic violence in tribal communities is firm and uncompromising. We will use every tool at our disposal to stop it," Johnson said in a news release.
Neither St. John nor his defense attorney immediately returned messages seeking comment Thursday. St. John could face 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for September.