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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Oklahoma

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Federal Jury Finds Muskogee Resident Guilty Of Aggravated Sexual Abuse In Indian Country

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today that Joseph Stanley Harjo, age 40, of Muskogee, Oklahoma was found guilty by a federal jury of Aggravated Sexual Abuse in Indian Country, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1151, 1153, 2241(c) and 2246(2)(D).

The jury trial began with testimony on Monday, November 15, 2021, and concluded on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, with the guilty verdict. Based on the jury’s verdict, the defendant is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years up to life imprisonment.

During the trial, the United States presented evidence that in June 2016, Harjo intentionally touched the bare vagina of his six-year-old daughter for a sexual purpose.  Days later, the child disclosed the abuse to her mother and she provided further details during a forensic interview.  When the police attempted to locate Harjo, he was found hiding under a bed and arrested.  Five additional witnesses testified that Harjo sexually assaulted them when they were between four and twelve years of age.

The guilty verdict was the result of an investigation by the Muskogee Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma prosecuted the case because the defendant and child victim in this case are members of a federally recognized Indian tribe and the crimes occurred in Muskogee County, within the boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation, and within the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

The Honorable Ronald A. White, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma in Muskogee, presided over the trial and ordered the completion of a presentence report. Sentencing will be scheduled following completion of the report. Harjo was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending the imposition of sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Morgan Muzljakovich and Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Marek represented the United States.

Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated November 19, 2021