News and Press Releases

Jury Finds Man Guilty of Molesting Girl Under the Age of Twelve

February 13, 2009

A member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe was found guilty today of Aggravated Sexual Abuse for the molestation of a young girl on the Upper Skagit Indian Reservation. DOUGLAS MICHAEL EDWARDS, 22, now of Auburn, Washington, was a neighbor and babysitter for the young girl in 2003, when the assault occurred. The jury deliberated about two days following a three day jury trial before returning the guilty verdict. In all EDWARDS was charged with sexual assaults on three young girls, but the jury was unable to reach verdicts on two of the counts. U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour scheduled sentencing for May 1, 2009.

EDWARDS was indicted in May 2008, following the disclosure by the young Upper Skagit Tribal members that EDWARDS had molested them when one was as young as four-years-old. Two other victims disclosed that they were molested when they were six and nine years old. EDWARDS lived for a time on the same block as the girls on the Skagit Reservation, and was hired at various times to babysit the girls in their homes. Edwards was convicted of molesting one girl at age six when he was babysitting because her mother was in the hospital.

Aggravated Sexual Abuse is punishable by up to life in prison. The case was prosecuted federally because the crime occurred on Indian land and involved enrolled tribal members.

The case was investigated by the Upper Skagit Reservation Tribal Police Department and the FBI.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nicholas Brown, Jill Otake, and J. Tate London. Mr. London serves as the Tribal Liasion for the United States Attorney’s Office.

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

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