SIOUX FALLS - A Lower Brule man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for aggravated sexual abuse, assault of a spouse by strangulation, and child abuse.

U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons announced that Boyer Thomas LaForge, Jr., age 31, was indicted on April 9. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on April 26, and pled not guilty to the indictment. The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to life in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, five years, up to life, of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.

The indictment alleges that on Feb. 4, LaForge knowingly caused his intimate partner to engage in a sexual act by use of force, and further assaulted the victim by strangling and suffocating her. The indictment further alleges that LaForge did abuse, expose, torture, torment, and cruelly punish a child under the age of 18.

The charges are merely accusations and LaForge is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. LaForge was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. A trial date has not been set.

The investigation is being conducted by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley is prosecuting the case.