LOWER BRULE — A man was charged in federal court last week with committing six sexual offenses against young girls in Lower Brule.
Francis Byington, 68, faces two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, two counts of abusive sexual contact with a child, one count of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of abusive sexual contact with a minor.
The indictment does not specify the number of victims involved in the case, but dates listed in the indictment, when compared to the age ranges outlined in each count, indicate at least two female victims. All offenses are alleged to have been committed between June 2009 and November 2016 in Lower Brule.
Charges specified as involving a child are based on allegations of offenses against someone under the age of 12, while a minor is legally distinguished as someone who was, at the time of the offense, at least 12 but younger than 16 and at least four years younger than the defendant.
Byington was indicted on March 10, and he was arrested two days later. He made an initial appearance March 12 in a Pierre courtroom and is being kept in custody while he awaits arraignment and a detention hearing, which had not been scheduled as of Wednesday.