Three Men are First Capitol Breach Defendants Convicted at Trial of Assaulting Police Officers with Pepper Spray
MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today that James Michael Stewart, age 42, of Muskogee, Oklahoma was found guilty by a federal jury of one count of Attempted Aggravated Sexual Abuse in Indian Country. This crime is punishable by imprisonment for any term of years or up to life imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00, or both. The defendant was acquitted on two counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse in Indian Country. The jury trial began with testimony on Monday, June 7, 2021 and concluded on Thursday, June 10, 2021 with the guilty verdict.
The evidence presented at trial proved that on May 25, 2018, the defendant attempted to sexually assault a female victim in a room at the Studio 6 hotel on North 32nd Street in Muskogee. The defendant undressed and pushed the victim onto a bed. The victim was able to free herself, ran to the bathroom, locked the door, and called 911. When the police arrived, they found the defendant still nude. According to the police officer, the victim was very emotional and appeared afraid of the defendant.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District prosecuted the case because the defendant is a member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe and the crime occurred in Muskogee County, within the boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and within the Eastern District of Oklahoma.
The guilty verdict was the result of an investigation by the Muskogee Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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. Stewart was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending the imposition of sentencing.
Special Assistant United States Attorney Nathaniel Walters and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Julie Finocchiaro represented the United States.