Crow Agency Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Child Molestation
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 23, 2014|
The United States Attorney’s Office announced that on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, during a federal court session in Billings, Senior District Judge Donald Molloy sentenced Aaron Ross Turnsplenty, Jr., of Crow Agency, to 10 years in prison and three years’ supervised release for molesting a young girl in 1996.
According to an offer of proof filed by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Weiss, Turnsplenty sexually abused the victim, who was under 12 years old, in the basement of a friend’s home in Pryor, Montana, on the Crow Indian Reservation. The victim was playing by herself with toys when Turnsplenty “came out of nowhere.” He molested her and then threatened to hurt her family if she told anyone.
Although the crime occurred in 1996, the United States Attorney’s Office was able to prosecute this case after the victim’s disclosure in 2012 because federal sex abuse statutes were revised to allow prosecution of certain crimes against children before the standard statute of limitations based upon when the violation was disclosed. For most federal crimes, an indictment must be brought within five years of the commission of the offense regardless of when the crime is made known to law enforcement authorities.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that Turnsplenty will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Turnsplenty does have the opportunity to earn a limited reduction in time served for “good behavior”; a reduction for good conduct while incarcerated will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.