Two area men are scheduled to be arraigned in federal court shortly on multiple rape charges involving minors.
Medicine Bird Morsette and Dustin Morsette, both enrolled members of the Three Affiliated Tribes, are scheduled to appear Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, before Magistrate Judge Charles Miller.
Court documents are not clear about whether Medicine Bird, of 25 Lake St. in New Town, and Dustin, of 1852-16th St. SW, Lot 67, Minot, are brothers. Both were born in 1989, making them 20 or 21 years old currently. Specific birth dates were not available in court records.
According to an indictment handed down by a federal grand jury and filed Aug. 17, Dustin Morsette is charged with five counts of sexual abuse of a minor, all involving separate children between 12 and 16 years old, between October 2009 and March 2010. In addition, he faces one count of aggravated sexual abuse and two counts of sexual abuse. All counts involve minor victims, and all are felonies.
That same indictment states Medicine Bird Morsette is charged with one count each of sexual abuse of a minor, sexual abuse and commission of a federal sex offense by a registered sex offender. All are felonies as well.
Court documents state that both men are active gang members. Dustin Morsette also allegedly attempted to convince some of the minor girls to join the gang. In order to do so, he allegedly told them, they would have to commit various sexual acts with multiple gang members, steal for the gang and prostitute themselves to make money for the gang. On numerous occasions, he allegedly threatened the victims and their families.
A sworn FBI affidavit indicates that agents searched various residences and electronic media in an attempt to gather evidence against the Morsettes, who were alleged to have taken pictures and videos during some of the activities.
They also allegedly provided minors with drugs and alcohol on multiple occasions, and witnesses say that they committed various offenses while the minors were incapacitated as a result.
Dustin Morsette faces a maximum term of 15 years on each count of sexual abuse of a minor. He also faces a 30-year minimum sentence on the aggravated sexual abuse charge, and a maximum of life on the sexual abuse charge.
Medicine Bird Morsette faces the same terms on his sexual abuse and sexual abuse of a minor charges, plus an additional 10-year mandatory sentence to be served consecutive to any of those sentences for commission of the crimes as a prior sex offender. He was arrested in 2007 and subsequently convicted of impregnating a 12-year-old girl.