Seattle - A 29-year-old member of the Lummi Nation was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 4 years in prison for sexual abuse of a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. GIDEON THOMAS BEWLEY was 23 years old and the victim was 12 years old when the sexual assaults first occurred. At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said, “This is a very painful case. The victim was so vulnerable … this was an aggressive act by a person almost twice the age of a 12-year-old girl.”
According to records filed in the case, in 2014 and 2015, BEWLEY assaulted the victim, who had just finished the 6th grade, at various locations on the Lummi Nation reservation. BEWLEY told the victim if she told anyone he would harm her. The victim first disclosed the abuse in 2014 to a school counselor who notified authorities, but the victim was too scared to discuss the assault with police. In 2016, Child Protective Services was notified, and in a forensic interview arranged by a detective with the Lummi Police Department, the victim disclosed the sex abuse.
BEWLEY was arrested by Lummi Police in December 2018 and was indicted in January 2019. BEWLEY pleaded guilty in August 2019.
At the sentencing hearing, a spokesperson for the Lummi Nation’s victim services told the Court that the victim has “dealt with a lot and is working on her healing.”
BEWLEY is required to register as a sex offender following prison. He will be on five years of supervised release.
The case was investigated by the Lummi Police Department and the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Tate London. Mr. London serves as a Tribal Liaison for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Washington.