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Former Umatilla Tribal Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Abusive Sexual Contact and Making False Statements

U.S. Attorney’s Office August 14, 2013
  • District of Oregon (503) 727-1000

PORTLAND, OR—Fermore Joseph Craig, Jr., 43, of Pendleton, Oregon, pled guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman to one count of abusive sexual contact and one count of making false statements to the FBI. The maximum sentence for abusive sexual contact is two years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and a lifetime of supervised release. Craig’s conviction for abusive sexual contact will require him to register as a sex offender. The maximum sentence for making false statements to the FBI is five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for November 4, 2013. Craig is currently out of custody and under the supervision of a federal court officer, pending the sentencing hearing.

“Sexual assault is always a heinous crime,” stated U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. “But when a tribal police officer, whose very duty is to protect the members of a Tribal Nation, commits such an act, the impact is especially egregious as it violates the trust and safety not only of the victim but the entire tribal community.”

According to the prosecutor’s statements in court, on May 11, 2013, on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Craig touched the intimate parts of an adult female. Craig admitted that he intentionally touched the victim’s intimate parts to arouse and gratify his own sexual desire, and he did so without the victim’s permission.

When the victim subsequently disclosed the sexual abuse, the FBI and Oregon State Police initiated an investigation and interviewed Craig. On May 13, 2013, during an interview with an FBI special agent and an Oregon State Police trooper, Craig made false statements to the investigators by lying about the sexual contact he had with the victim. Craig had been employed as a Umatilla Tribal Police officer for approximately 15 years, but he was not on duty as a police officer at the time the sexual abuse occurred. After the abuse was reported by the victim, Craig was immediately placed on administrative leave. Craig ultimately resigned from the Umatilla Tribal Police Department in June, while the investigation was ongoing.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Pendleton Resident Agency and the Oregon State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel prosecuted the case.

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