News and Press Releases

"Toppenish Man Sentenced To 188 Months Imprisonment for Aggravated Sexual Abuse"

April 18, 2012

Spokane – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Elijah Sweowat, age 37, of Toppenish, Washington, was sentenced for the crime of aggravated sexual abuse. On April 17, 2012, the Honorable Fred Van Sickle sentenced Elijah Sweowat to a term of 188 months imprisonment with 5 years of supervision to follow when released from prison. He will also be required to register as a sex offender when released from prison. Elijah Sweowat has been in custody
since November 30, 2011.

Elijah Sweowat was convicted following a three day jury trial in federal District Court in Yakima, Washington. Trial began on November 28, 2011 and concluded with the Elijah Sweowat's conviction on November 30, 2011. Evidence introduced at trial established that 1during the early morning hours of August 9, 2009, Elijah Sweowat sexually assaulted a female relative at a residence in Wapato, Washington, within the external boundaries of the Yakama Nation and on trust land. The victim testified at trial
about the sexual assault. DNA evidence collected from Elijah Sweowat, his clothing, and the victim was also introduced as evidence at trial. Both Elijah Sweowat and the victim are enrolled members of the Yakama Nation.

Michael C. Ormsby, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said,"the United States Attorney's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Yakama Tribal Police Department are committed to investigating and prosecuting violent crime occurring on the Yakama Nation Reservation."

This investigation was conducted by the Yakama Tribal Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by James Goeke, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

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