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Published June 07 2012

Tribal council member found guilty of habitual domestic assault

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – 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.