News and Press Releases

TRIBAL MEMBER SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS IN PRISON AND LIFETIME SUPERVISED RELEASE FOR SEX ASSAULT ON TODDLER
Defendant Must Undergo Treatment and Register as a Sex Offender

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2008

STEFAN MERCULIEF, 23, of Tulalip, Washington, was sentenced today to 14 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release for Aggravated Sexual Abuse by Force. MERCULIEF, an enrolled member of the Aleut Tribe of Alaska, was arrested March 15, 2007, following the sexual assault on a three-year-old member of the Tulalip Tribe. The assault occurred on Tulalip Tribal land, falling under federal jurisdiction. MERCULIEF pleaded guilty October 27, 2008. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez said that other than homicide, he “cannot think of a more horrific violation, than rape of a very young child.”

According to records filed in the case, MERCULIEF had been drinking heavily when he arrived at the house where he was residing. He broke a window to enter his bedroom. He told police that when he could not locate his wife, he sexually assaulted the toddler. The child’s parents found MERCULIEF with the child – the child’s father struck MERCULIEF and chased him from the house.

Under the sentence imposed today, MERCULIEF will be supervised by federal probation officers for the rest of his life. The terms of that probation following his prison term include: sexual deviancy evaluations, registration as a sex offender, polygraph and plethysmograph testing, drug and alcohol treatment and testing, and restrictions on his ability to be around children.

Judge Martinez recommended that MERCULIEF serve his sentence at a Bureau of Prisons facility in Tuscon, Arizona where sex offender treatment is available.

The case was investigated by the FBI and Tulalip Tribal Police. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office at (206) 553-4110.

Return to Top

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Justice 101
Community Outreach

Engaging in outreach in order to prevent crime, respond to community needs, and promote good citizenship.


Victim Witness Assistance

Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect


Project Safe Neighborhoods

Our nation-wide commitment to reducing gun crime in America


Oficinas de los Fiscales de Estados Unidos En Español