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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Warm Springs Man Charged with Aggravated Sexual Abuse of Minor, Additional Victims Sought

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Warm Springs man has been charged with sexually abusing a minor victim nearly three decades ago on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.

According to an indictment unsealed today, between January 1993 and January 1998, Austin Smith Sr., 69, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, is alleged to have knowingly engaged in abusive sexual contact with a minor under 12 years old.

Smith is charged with two counts each of abusive sexual contact and sexual abuse and three counts of aggravated sexual abuse. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Smith was arrested on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and made an initial appearance today in federal court. He was detained pending a six-day jury trial scheduled to begin on May 12, 2020 before U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Jones.

This case was investigated by FBI Portland’s Safe Trails Task Force and the Warm Springs Tribal Police Department and is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

Investigators are seeking the public’s help to identify additional potential victims who may have had contact with Smith. If you have any reason to believe you or someone you know may be a victim or have additional information about other potential crimes involving this defendant, please contact the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or submit a tip online at https://tips.fbi.gov.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The Safe Trails Task Force (STTF) unites FBI with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in a collaborative effort to combat the growth of crime in Indian Country. STTF allows participating agencies to combine limited resources and increase investigative coordination in Indian Country to target violent crime, drugs, gangs, and gaming violations.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated March 11, 2020