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Former Lame Deer pastor sentenced to 30 years for sexually abusing children

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Posted at 3:31 PM, Apr 10, 2024

A former Lame Deer pastor was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in federal prison after he was convicted by a jury of sexually abusing children on the Northern Cheyenne reservation, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said in a news release.

Dean Alan Smith, 67, was convicted in December 2023 of aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact by force and two counts of abusive sexual contact by force of a child. At that trial, he was also acquitted of one count of abusive sexual contact of a child.

Prosecutors stated in an indictment that Smith sexually abused four females, three of whom were under the age of 12, between 2017 and 2019 near Lame Deer. In all four cases, prosecutors alleged that Smith forced the females to engage in sexual contact.

Smith and his wife housed several foster children and housed others in the community during the times of his crimes.

In January after charges were filed, the tribe banned Smith from entering the reservation.

In a statement, Laslovich praised the victims for coming forward.

“Pastor Smith’s prison sentence, while significant, does not come close to the lifetime of trauma his victims will have to endure. But I hope knowing that Smith will likely spend the rest of his life in federal prison gives them some peace of mind that he won’t be able to abuse others. Far too often, and unacceptably so, we are unable to obtain justice for children sexually abused in Indian Country. But justice was achieved here, and it would not have occurred without the bravery of our victims or the tenacity of our federal partners and prosecutors, for which I am grateful,” Laslovich said.