State Judge Rules Abuse Laws Don't Apply to Unborn Children

Brooke Swier Schloss
Connect with me
Family Law and Estate Planning attorney helping families across South Dakota plan and protect their loved ones
Posted on Oct 04, 2014

A child abuse charge against a McIntosh woman has been dismissed by a judge who ruled that South Dakota’s abuse and neglect laws do not apply to unborn children.

Marissa Sitting Dog, 26, had been charged with a federal felony child abuse count, because she allegedly consumed alcohol and used marijuana while she was pregnant. According to court paperwork, a physician told investigators he was relatively certain that Sitting Dog’s child, born on March 30, 2013, suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome. The physician based his decision, at least in part, on the child’s facial deformities, the documents said. Those are the circumstances that led to Sitting Dog being charged.