South Bend Man Sentenced
For Simple Assault of a Native American on Tribal Land
SOUTH BEND – Rumaldo Gamboa, age 45, of South Bend, Indiana, was sentenced by United States Magistrate Judge Michael G. Gotsch, Sr. on his guilty plea to simple assault, announced United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.
According to documents in this case, Mr. Gamboa is a non-Indian while the victim is a Native American woman, a tribal member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. At the time of the incident, the victim was Mr. Gamboa’s spouse and intimate partner. The incident occurred on tribal land, in the Pokagon tribal village located just outside of South Bend.
“The United States has an important relationship with the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Indians and crimes that occur on this federally-recognized tribal land of the Pokagon Band will be taken seriously by my Office,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch. “We understand the importance of prosecuting domestic violence crimes to ensure the safety of women in tribal communities. We will continue to work in unison with the Pokagon Band to protect the safety of its tribal citizens, while respecting the Pokagon Band’s sovereignty and culture.”
Pokagon Police Chief William Lux said, “The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is a federally-recognized sovereign nation and is committed to working with our law enforcement partners in the U.S. government to protect our tribal citizens and to prosecute those who violate the law on Pokagon land, especially crimes of domestic violence. The safety of Native American women in domestic situations is an extremely important concern to Native American communities. We appreciate the support of the FBI and U.S. Attorney Kirsch in prosecuting Mr. Gamboa for his crime committed against a member of our tribal community.”
This case was investigated by the Pokagon Tribal Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke N. Reilander.