Home Omaha Press Releases 2009 Nebraska Man Pleads Guilty to One Count of Statutory Rape

Nebraska Man Pleads Guilty to One Count of Statutory Rape

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 19, 2009
  • District of Nebraska (402) 661-3700

United States Attorney Deborah Gilg and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs announce the following information for the attention of the media:

Event Triggering this Release: On November 16, 2009, Ma-Na-Pe-Xoo-Nu-Ga Cleveland appeared before United States District Court Judge Laurie Smith Camp and entered a guilty plea to one count of statutory rape. Sentencing has been scheduled for February 8, 2010.

Cleveland, a 31-year-old man, was a employed by the Whirling Thunder Wellness Center on the Winnebago Indian Reservation. As part of his duties, he served as a basketball coach to a team of teenage girls. Through this position, Cleveland befriended a 13-year-old player and began giving her rides to her home. The two grew closer over time and eventually the relationship led to sexual intercourse. According to the victim, the two had sexual intercourse on two occasions with the first occurring in January of 2009 in the back seat of the defendant’s car and the second occurring in February at Cleveland’s office. DNA evidence corroborated the victim’s statement. Additionally, phone records revealed that there were thousands of text messages between Cleveland and the victim over just a three-month period.

During the change of plea hearing, Judge Smith Camp specifically asked Cleveland whether he had sexual intercourse with the victim in January of 2009. Cleveland responded under oath that he did have sexual intercourse with the victim.

Name of Defendant: Ma-Na-Pe-Xoo-Nu-Ga Cleveland

AKA: Haga Cleveland

Age: 31

City of residence: Winnebago, Nebraska

Crime(s) Charged and Potential Penalty (A CHARGE is merely an accusation and every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty): Statutory rape in violation of 18 USC §2243. The maximum statutory penalty is 15 years of imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment.

Specific Location of Alleged Crime: Winnebago, Nebraska

Location of Arrest: Winnebago, Nebraska

Alleged Dollar Loss/Type and Quantity of Drug:

Others Charged in Same Scheme:

Relevant Dates:

Date of Alleged Crime: January 27, 2009

Federal Arrest Date: May 7, 2009

Date Complaint Issued: May 6, 2009

Indictment Returned Date: May 21, 2009

Initial Appearance Date: May 8, 2009

Plea or Trial and Date(s): Change of plea on November 16, 2009

Sentencing Date:

Next Court Hearing Type and Date: Sentencing set for February 8, 2010

Assigned Magistrate Judge: Honorable Thomas D. Thalken

Held without Bond, or Released from Custody: Released on bond

In Continuous Custody Since:

Assigned District Court Judge: Honorable Laurie Smith Camp

Initials of Assigned AUSA/Preparer of THIS Release: DRS