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Northern SD man sent to prison for 12 years for child abuse, assaults, child pornography

ABERDEEN, S.D. -- A 41-year-old Little Eagle man from far north-central South Dakota on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation has been sentenced to 12 years in prison on charges of child abuse, assault with a dangerous weapon and child pornography after he was found guilty in two jury trials.

Chavez Spotted Horse was sentenced in Aberdeen last week by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Kornmann.

In an three-day trial last October, Spotted Horse was found guilty of three counts of child abuse and three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon that stemmed from an incident on Dec. 1, 2016, when BIA law officers were called to a school in Little Eagle to investigate a child abuse matter. Officer found an 11-year-old victim there with visible bruises over large portions of her body. The young girl said Spotted Horse asked her questions about boys and when she didn’t answer, he beat her on her legs and back with plastic kitchen spoon, a rod and a plastic hanger.

Spotted Horse was sentenced to six years in prison on that charge.

In another trial last November, Spotted Horse was found guilty in a three-day trial of two counts of receipt of images depicting the sexual exploitation of minors. Those charges stem from an investigation in the fall of 2015 after the FBI received information that a computer in Little Eagle was accessing child pornography. He admitted that he had specialized websites and viewed and received sexually explicit pictures of young children.

He was sentenced to just over six years on those convictions.

The cases were investigated by the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, the Standing Rock Indian Reservation Agency and crime bureaus in North Dakota and South Dakota.