Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Xander Lee Ostenberg, 18, of Grand Coulee, Washington was sentenced after having pleaded guilty to Assault Resulting in Substantial Bodily Injury to a Spouse, Intimate Partner, or Dating Partner in Indian Country. Ostenberg also pleaded guilty to two counts of Assault by Beating, Striking or Wounding. U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Ostenberg to 60 months in prison, to be followed by a 3-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.
According to court documents, in early February 2023, Ostenberg and his partner began fighting in the bedroom of their residence on the Kalispel reservation. Ostenberg’s partner began screaming and her grandfather and family friend rushed to her aid. Then, Ostenberg hit the grandfather in the head causing him to fall to the ground and lose consciousness. Ostenberg subsequently turned to attack the family friend, knocking him to the ground, pulled out some of his hair, and began choking him. The family friend was eventually able to break free. At that point, Ostenberg dragged his partner out of the house, hit her, and put her in his vehicle. Later that day, Pend Orielle Sheriff’s Deputies located Ostenberg’s truck, pulled it over and detained him. Ostenberg’s partner was bleeding around her lips and nose, she also had bruises on her face and body. She confirmed to deputies that the injuries were from Ostenberg assaulting her.
U.S. District Judge Rice imposed the sentence based on the victim impact statements and aggressive nature of the offense.
U.S. Attorney Waldref stated, “My heart goes out to the victims in this case. No one should have to live in fear of violence in their home from a domestic partner or spouse. My office is committed to working closely with our federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to ensure Native American women and families are protected from this kind of violence and trauma.”
“Addressing violent crime is a priority for the Kalispel Tribe. We are thankful for the partnership between the Kalispel Tribal Police Department, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office,” stated Kalispel Tribal Vice Chair Curt Holmes. “We stand committed to vigorously pursuing prosecution for people who commit crimes on our Reservation; especially crimes against our women and vulnerable people.”
“Mr. Ostenberg’s youth cannot be used as an excuse for his violent actions.” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge or the FBI’s Seattle field office. “While he has time to reflect on the choices he made which led to this prison sentence, his actions impacted the lives of multiple victims. Addressing violence on our state’s reservations remains a priority for the FBI and our partners across Washington.”
This case was investigated by the Kalispel Tribal Police, Colville Tribal Police Department, Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Richard R. Barker, First Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington and Michael Vander Giessen, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.