A 59–year old enrolled member of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe was convicted today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma of five counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor. The jury deliberated three hours before finding LEROY CHARLES guilty following a five day trial. U.S District Judge Ronald B. Leighton has scheduled sentencing for February 5, 2016. CHARLES faces a mandatory minimum 30 years in prison and up to life in prison for the five convictions.
According to testimony at trial, CHARLES assaulted the young teens at various times and places on the Port Gamble S’Klallam reservation between 2000 and 2005. CHARLES overpowered the victims and in one case drugged the teenager so that he could commit the sexual assault. CHARLES threatened to kill each of the teens and their families if they disclosed the abuse. When one of the victims left the reservation to live, CHARLES traveled to the victim’s out-of-state residence, again threatening the victim and saying he would be able to find the victim anywhere. The victims, who are now in their 20’s disclosed the abuse when they learned CHARLES was going to be released from state incarceration after serving a sentence for unrelated criminal conduct.
The case was investigated by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Police and the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ye-Ting Woo and Bruce Miyake.