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Press Release

Jimcy McGirt Found Guilty Of Aggravated Sexual Abuse, Abusive Sexual Contact In Indian Country

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Oklahoma

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced that Jimcy McGirt, age 71, was found guilty by a federal jury of two counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse In Indian Country, and one count of Abusive Sexual Contact in Indian Country in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1151, 1153, 2241(c) and 2246(2). Each count is punishable by not less than 30 years and not more than life imprisonment, a fine up to $250,000.00, or both. The jury trial began with testimony on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 and concluded on Friday, November 6, 2020 with the guilty verdicts. 

Evidence presented at trial proved that in August 1996 the defendant knowingly engaged in sexual acts upon a child who was four years old at the time. The defendant touched and penetrated the victim’s genital opening, made contact with her vulva with his mouth, and caused her to touch his penis with her hand with the intent to arouse or gratify his sexual desires. 

In 1997 Jimcy McGirt was tried and convicted of First Degree Rape by Instrumentation, Lewd Molestation, and Forcible Sodomy in Wagoner County. While serving two 500 year sentences and life without parole in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections he appealed his conviction, arguing the Creek Nation Reservation had not been disestablished and therefore the State of Oklahoma did not have jurisdiction to prosecute him because he is a member of the Seminole Nation. On July 9, 2020 the United States Supreme Court held the Creek Nation Reservation had not been disestablished and therefore the State of Oklahoma had been without jurisdiction over McGirt. 

On August 18, 2020 the federal grand jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma returned an indictment against the defendant based on the same facts that had resulted in his 1997 Oklahoma conviction. Less than three months later his federal jury trial began and ended with today’s verdict. 

“Today’s verdict is a result of a courageous victim who for the sake of justice was willing to once again relive the horrific acts the defendant perpetrated against her over 24 years ago. Her strength is a powerful testament to the resilience and strength of the human spirit, and a great example for us all,” said United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester. “Prosecuting decades old cases are difficult at best, but the prosecution team along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation demonstrated tenacity and commitment to the federal government’s trust responsibility in Indian Country in the Eastern District of Oklahoma.”

“While the McGirt decision was a precedent setting case in regards to the FBI’s work in Indian Country, today’s verdict shows that the FBI’s commitment to seeking justice for the victims will never change, no matter the court, no matter the venue,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Melissa Godbold.  “I am grateful to the team for their work to bring this more than two-decades old case to trial, and we thank the Jury for their hard work that led to today’s conviction.”

The Honorable John F. Heil, III, 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 its completion. 

Assistant United States Attorney Sarah McAmis and Assistant United States Attorney Courtney Jordan represented the United States.

Updated November 9, 2020

Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice