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Oglala Sioux medicine man awaits trial on sexual abuse charges

Charles Chipps. Photo from Native Sun News

Charles Chipps, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota who has served as a medicine man, is being held in federal prison in Missouri on a slew of sexual abuse charges.

Chipps, 67, was indicted in July 2013 on seven counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Minor, three counts of Abusive Sexual Contact of a Minor, three counts of Aggravated Incest and two counts of Witness Intimidation. Federal prosecutors say he abused several girls, some as young as 5 years old and some of his own daughters and granddaughters.

“When I first found out about Charles, I wanted to get a gun and go shoot him,” Lena Chipps, a sister-in-law of the accused, told The Washington Post. “For what he did to all these kids.”

One of the victims committed suicide after speaking out about the abuse she suffered, the Native Sun News first reported in March. She had been brought to Chipps for spiritual guidance.

Despite being arrested more than a year ago, Chipps has yet to stand trial. His attorney claims he is too ill and mentally incompetent.

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