News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Swinomish Tribal Member Sentenced To Prison For Domestic Violence Assault

Tribal Member a ‘Habitual Offender’ following Tribal Court Convictions for Prior Assaults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2012

            JONATHAN H. JACK, 28, of LaConner, Washington, and an enrolled member of the Swinomish Indian Tribe, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two years in prison and three years of supervised release for domestic assault by a habitual offender, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  JACK qualifies as a habitual offender due to two prior convictions in Swinomish Tribal Court for domestic violence assaults against the mother of his children.  JACK was arrested April 6, 2011, after he assaulted the woman and her father and violated both a no contact order and a ban from the Swinomish Indian Reservation.  At sentencing U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones ordered JACK to undergo treatment for domestic violence, as well as drug and alcohol addiction. 

            According to records in the case, JACK was arrested at a home on the Swinomish Reservation after tribal police were called to the scene.  JACK allegedly broken into the home through a bedroom window and assaulted his former girlfriend and her father.  JACK tried to leave the home by going back out the window.  He struggled with a Tribal Police officer and had to be tasered three times before police could handcuff him.  JACK had been convicted on September 1, 2010, for two prior assaults against the female victim in this case.  Those assaults occurred on March 7, 2010 and August 23, 2010.  JACK was banned from Swinomish Tribal Land for two years and ordered to have no contact with the victim.  Those orders were violated with the April 6, 2011 assault.  JACK pleaded guilty in November 2011.

            In asking the court to approve the two year prison term, prosecutors wrote to the court about the concern surrounding domestic violence on Tribal lands.  “As this Court is well aware, the rate of violence against women in Indian Country remains shockingly high, well above the national average for the majority or any other ethnic group.  It is against this backdrop that the government prosecuted Jack; this is believed to be the first Domestic Assault by a Habitual Offender case prosecuted in this district, and Jack is certainly worthy of federal prosecution,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

            The case was investigated by the Swinomish Tribal Police and the FBI.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Tate London.  Mr. London serves as a Tribal Liaison for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

 

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