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High Risk Inmate To Leave Prison

SD Department of Corrections
Inmate Michael Ontiveros

A high-risk inmate is leaving prison this week after 11 years. Leaders with the South Dakota Department of Corrections say the prisoner has a violent record and did not follow rules while serving time, but his sentence has expired.  

Michael Ontiveros leaves prison Wednesday after completing time for multiple burglaries in Hughes and Walworth counties. The 47-year-old man is a registered sex offender with a history of attempted sexual assault, kidnapping, escape, and grand theft.

South Dakota Department of Corrections leaders use assessments to determine potential danger an inmate poses to the community. Secretary Denny Kaemingk says Ontiveros is high-risk.

"He has a troubling criminal history in Arizona and South Dakota. He was a very non-compliant inmate, had a great deal of major rule infractions to include assault and sexual abuse. He was not amenable to programming – either he did not participate or he did not apply himself, and also he’s being released from restrictive housing," Kaemingk says. 

Officials say Ontiveros plans to live near Eagle Butte. Kaemingk says Ontiveros has finished his sentence, and corrections officials have no jurisdiction to supervise him.

"There are a lot of tools available to offenders who come into prison as far as programming as far as encouragement and education," Kaemingk says. "And most offenders take advantage of those opportunities to better themselves when they go back to the street, but Ontiveros certainly did not."

Kaemingk says more than 2,000 inmates leave Department of Corrections custody each year. The department notifies local law enforcement of all releases. In the past five years, corrections officials have alerted the public to seven high-risk inmates leaving prison and one release of a high-profile inmate.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).