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Press Release

Damian James Backer Sentenced In U.S. District Court

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

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billiings, on January 17, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, DAMIAN JAMES BACKER, a 21-year-old resident of Lame Deer and an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, appeared for sentencing. BACKER was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 21 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 3 years

BACKER was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On August 2, 2011, BACKER came home to find X.X. in the act of raping the victim. BACKER then confronted X.X. and chased him out of the house. BACKER then had an argument with the victim outside of the residence that turned physical. Specifically, BACKER grabbed the victim to carry her back to their house. She struggled with him and fell to the street. BACKER was angry with her and her struggles. He hit and kicked her while she was on the ground. The assault was witnessed by neighbors.

The victim suffered a fracture of her right eye socket with bleeding into the sinuses. She also had severe bruising and lacerations on her eyelids, the bridge of her nose, her right and left cheeks, and lips. She also had some bruises and abrasions on her upper body, knees, and the top of her right foot. These injuries constitute serious bodily injury.

The crime occurred on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that BACKER will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, BACKER does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Updated January 14, 2015