One acquitted, two sentenced in federal courts

One suspect was acquitted while two others were sentenced in federal courts in South Dakota recently.

Ryan Bissonette, 35, of Pine Ridge was acquitted of aggravated sexual abuse by force and sexual abuse by a federal jury April 13.

He was indicted June 17, 2014, for an incident that allegedly occurred Aug. 8, 2013, near Pine Ridge. He allegedly engaged in a sexual act with a female incapable of consenting.

Sentenced April 11 was Mythyas Godiava, 42, of Mill Creek, WA, to 42 months in federal custody for an unauthorized access device. The South Dakota Highway Patrol stopped Godiava in Lawrence County in 2016.

“A search was conducted on the vehicle and a meth pipe, over 1,000 gift cards, multiple debit/credit cards, a stolen passport, and multiple forms of identification were found,” according to the news release issued Tuesday by the U.S. attorney office for South Dakota.

The release said an investigation revealed that for the last several years Godiava has been defrauding various businesses by employing different fraud techniques, such as price tag switching or leaving the store without paying for cartloads of items.

“Godiava would then hire homeless men and women to return the items for store credit placed on gift cards,” the U.S. attorney office said.

Sentenced April 11 in a separate case was Joseph Cordier, 39, of Winner to 60 months in federal custody for abusive sexual contact with a child.

The incident occurred between June 19, 2007, and June 19, 2009, in Winner Tribal Housing in Tripp County. The child was age five to six years.

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

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