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Fort Yates man pleads guilty to sexual assault

BISMARCK — A Fort Yates man could face a life sentence after pleading guilty Friday to a charge of sexual assault.

Austin Agard, 27, faces a sentence of up to life in prison, five years to life of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for raping a woman Dec. 16. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland oversaw the case.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs received a call from a hospital that a woman reported being raped while at her residence at Fort Yates, the tribal headquarters for the Standing Rock Sioux. The woman identified Agard as the suspect, and after questioning he admitted sexually assaulting the woman while she was physically incapable of consent.

Sentencing for Agard is set for Dec. 1 in Bismarck, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release issued Friday.