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Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Thursday, October 6, 2011

State Department Employee Indicted on Domestic Battery Charges for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon

WASHINGTON – Michael Makalou, 40, a State Department employee, was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil H. MacBride.


The indictment was returned yesterday in the Eastern District of Virginia.  According to court documents, Makalou resided with his wife and children in Dakar, Senegal, and worked as a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Dakar.  A publically filed affidavit alleges that on the morning of Aug. 13, 2011, an argument erupted between Makalou and his wife.  According to the affidavit, Makalou then began to physically assault his wife, which included choking her, striking her head with closed fists and stomping on her back with his feet.  As a result of the attack, Makalou’s wife suffered a concussion as well as lacerations to her gums, multiple contusions and bruising.


If convicted, Makalou faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.


This case was investigated by the Diplomatic Security Service of the U.S. Department of State.  Trial Attorney Sarah Chang of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebeca H. Bellows of the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.


An indictment is merely a charge and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014