Skip to main content
Press Release

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Bowling Green Man for Domestic Violence Offense at Mammoth Cave National Park

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

Bowling Green, KY – A federal grand jury in Bowling Green returned an indictment on October 11, 2023, charging a Bowling Green, Kentucky man with committing domestic assault.   

U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky and Scott L. Larson, Regional Chief Ranger of the National Park Service Law Enforcement Rangers made the announcement.

According to the indictment, Rakan F. Elsalem, 39, was charged with one count of domestic assault by a habitual offender. On May 1, 2023, Elsalem committed a domestic assault within the Mammoth Cave National Park, a place within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States. At the time Elsalem committed the domestic assault, he had two prior convictions for offenses that would have been, if subject to federal jurisdiction, assault against a spouse or intimate partner.  These included convictions of assault in the fourth degree on September 22, 2020, and on January 24, 2022, in Warren District Court.

Elsalem made his initial court appearance on October 19, 2023, before a U.S. Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. If convicted, Elsalem faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. There is no parole in the federal system.   

This case is being investigated by the National Park Service Law Enforcement Rangers.

Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Nicholas Rabold, of the U.S. Attorney’s Bowling Green Branch Office, is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Updated October 20, 2023