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Press Release

Former law enforcement officer convicted of sexually abusing young children

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Defendant is former tribal councilmember and police officer of the Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe and former Chief Fisheries Police Officer on the Hoh Reservation

Tacoma – A 69-year-old member of the Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe was convicted today of nine federal crimes related to the sexual abuse of minors, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Joseph Anthony Turrey, of Port Angeles, Washington, was convicted following a seven-day jury trial. The jury deliberated for about two days before returning the guilty verdicts. Turrey was remanded to federal custody to await sentencing. U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle scheduled the sentencing for June 5, 2023.

In 2021, according to records filed in the case, three victims disclosed abuse by the defendant that occurred between 2008 and 2016. The charged assaults occurred on tribal land, triggering federal jurisdiction. Two of the victims were as young as 6 and 7 years old when the sexual assaults began.

Early in his career, in 1993-94, Turrey served as a law enforcement officer on the Hoh Reservation.  Turrey, and those who knew him at that time, described his role as Chief of Police.  The Hoh Tribe has no record of that position, but is aware that Turrey was employed by the tribe and supervised a fisheries enforcement officer.  Turrey went on to serve as a police officer for the Lower Elwah Tribe and also served on the Tribal Council.

Turrey was convicted of six counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Minor, two counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor, and one count of Abusive Sexual Contact.

Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Minor is punishable by a mandatory-minimum sentence of 30 years in prison and a maximum of life. Abusive Sexual Contact is punishable by a maximum of life in prison. Sexual Abuse of a Minor is punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison.

The case was investigated by the FBI and Lower Elwha S’Klallam Police Department, with assistance from the National Park Service.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kristine Foerster, Will Dreher, and Jonas Lerman.


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated March 15, 2023

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice