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Man Accused Of Rape In Domestic Abuse Shelter

May 20, 2014, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Man Accused Of Rape In Domestic Abuse Shelter
Heath Big Eagle


Domestic abuse shelters are supposed to protect victims.   But a Sioux Falls man is accused of breaking into one and raping his ex-girlfriend. According to police, it all happened in front of the victim's child.

The victim in this case was staying at a domestic abuse shelter in Sioux Falls called "My Sister Friend's House."

"Her ex-boyfriend was able to enter the room where she was staying at, apparently there was an unlocked window," Sioux Falls Police public information officer Sam Clemens said.

The ex-boyfriend was identified as 47-year-old Heath Big Eagle.  Police say sometime between 3 and 4 Monday morning, Big Eagle crawled through that window and attacked his ex-girlfriend.

"He got inside there and ended up raping her while the child was sleeping in the room," Clemens said.

Big Eagle's rap sheet is 20 pages, with 11 simple assault charges dating back to 1985.

In court Tuesday, prosecutors say Big Eagle forced his ex-girlfriend to take methamphetamine and if she didn't, he threatened to hurt her.  They also say the victim begged him to stop.

"He ended up leaving out the same window and she reported it to staff, who then called police," Clemens said.

Police say Big Eagle was arrested late Monday afternoon at his home on the 200 block of South Summit Avenue.

The judge set bail for Big Eagle at $50,000 cash only.

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