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Charges dismissed in South Dakota Indian child abuse probe

Filed Under: Law
More on: abuse, crime, icwa, south dakota
     

A judge in South Dakota dismissed all charges against two people who investigated the abuse of Indian children in foster care.

Social worker Shirley Schwab, 63, and former state's attorney Brandon Taliaferro, 31, were accused of witness-tampering and perjury. The charges stemmed from their investigation into the abuse of four Indian sisters who were placed in a non-Indian home.

Supporters, including the Lakota People's Law Project, said the two were charged for raising questions about the state's handling of Indian Child Welfare Act cases. The trial began on Monday but Judge Gene Paul Kean said there wasn't enough evidence to proceed.

The adult in the foster home, Richard Mette, pleaded guilty to the rape of one of the Indian girls. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Get the Story:
Judge dismisses some charges against Schwab, Taliaferro; other counts remain (The Aberdeen News 1/10)
All charges against Schwab, Taliaferro dismissed today (The Aberdeen News 1/10)

Related Stories:
Stephanie Woodard: An Indian Child Welfare Act scandal unfolds (1/7)
Native Sun News: Tribes document ICWA woes in South Dakota (12/05)
NPR: Tribes take on state and BIA in Indian child welfare battle (12/03)
Report outlines Indian Child Welfare Act woes in South Dakota (11/30)


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