SIOUX FALLS – United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a federal trial jury has convicted Jesse Sierra, a/k/a Jesse Sierro, age 37, of Oglala, South Dakota, of Kidnapping, two counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse by Force, Interstate Domestic Violence, Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, and Assault by Strangulation of a Dating Partner following a five-day federal trial in Rapid City, South Dakota. The jury also convicted Jesse Sierra’s brother, Dustin Sierra, a/k/a Dustin Sierro, age 38, also of Oglala, of Kidnapping and Interstate Domestic Violence. The verdicts were returned on October 28, 2022.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund for each count of conviction.
The Sierras were indicted by a federal grand jury in August of 2019.
Evidence at the trial established Jesse Sierra traveled to the female victim’s place of employment in July 2019, and convinced her to leave with him and his brother, Dustin. When the Sierra brothers began driving the female to the Pine Ridge Reservation, then against her will, the female attempted to jump out of the vehicle. Jesse Sierra wrapped his arm around her neck and strangled her to a point of unconsciousness. Each time the female regained consciousness, Sierra strangled her again. Between July 13, 2019, and July 17, 2019, the Sierra brothers took the female to a number of locations on the Pine Ridge Reservation against her will. Jesse inflicted multiple physical and sexual assaults upon the female during the time he held her against her will. Around July 17, 2019, Dustin drove Jesse and the female to Chadron, Nebraska, and hid her in a motel. On July 21, 2019, Jesse dropped her off at the hospital in Chadron. Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies searched for the victim from July 14, 2019, until she was located at the Chadron hospital on July 21, 2019.
This case was investigated by the FBI, Rapid City Police Department, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety, Box Elder Police Department, Dawes County Sheriff’s Office, Chadron Police Department, and Nebraska State Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heather Sazama and Kelsey Blair prosecuted the case.
Presentence investigations were ordered and sentencing dates were set for January 27, 2023. The defendants were remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.