August 03, 2007

White man's justice fails

Reservations beyond the law

A legal loophole allows non-Indians who victimize Indian women and kids on reservations to escape justiceFor more than a decade, a white man married to an Indian woman sexually terrorized his entire family on the Eastern Cherokee reservation in North Carolina. If his wife complained about the rapes and beatings with a baseball bat, he shocked her with a Taser. While raping his wife, he would force his teenage daughters to stand by so he could fondle their genitalia to compensate for erectile dysfunction. Afterward, he would show them his AK-47 and threaten to kill them if they ever left him or told anyone.

Despite those threats, his wife finally reported the incidents to tribal police. Eastern Cherokee prosecutor James Kilbourne wanted to prosecute, but the tribe did not have criminal jurisdiction over the non-Indian husband. Local and state authorities didn't have jurisdiction either because the victims were Indians.

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