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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 18, 2021

Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribal Member Charged With Sexual Abuse of Minors

Sexual assaults occurred as early as 2008

Tacoma – A 68-year-old member of the Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe was indicted this week on multiple counts of sexual abuse of minors, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Joseph Anthony Turrey, of Port Angeles, Washington, was arrested November 10, 2021 and will be arraigned on the federal charges on November 26, 2021. He remains in federal custody.


According to records filed in the case, one young victim recently disclosed the abuse to the Lower Elwha S’Klallam child welfare authorities. The Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribal Police and the FBI immediately began investigating. Special forensic investigators from the National Park Service assisted with the interview of the victim. The investigation determined that another victim was sexually assaulted by Turrey as early as 2008. Both victims were as young as 6 and 7-years-old when the assaults began. The assaults occurred on tribal land, triggering federal jurisdiction.


Turrey is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor and one count of sexual abuse of a minor.


Aggravated sexual abuse of a minor is punishable by a mandatory minimum 30 years in prison. Sexual abuse of a minor is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.


The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being 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 Attorney Angelica Williams.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice
Contact: 
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.
Updated November 20, 2021