Man federally sentenced for assaulting Pokagon woman on tribal land

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – 45-year-old Rumaldo Gamboa of South Bend has been sentenced on a guilty plea for assaulting a Native American woman on tribal land.

According to United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch, the Pokagon woman was the spouse of Gamboa at the time of the incident.

The incident occurred in the Pokagon tribal village located just outside of South Bend.

“The United States has an important relationship with the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Indians and crimes that occur on this federally-recognized tribal land of the Pokagon Band will be taken seriously by my Office,” U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch said. “We understand the importance of prosecuting domestic violence crimes to ensure the safety of women in tribal communities. We will continue to work in unison with the Pokagon Band to protect the safety of its tribal citizens, while respecting the Pokagon Band’s sovereignty and culture.”

Pokagon Police Chief William Lux said, “The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is a federally-recognized sovereign nation and is committed to working with our law enforcement partners in the U.S. government to protect our tribal citizens and to prosecute those who violate the law on Pokagon land, especially crimes of domestic violence. The safety of Native American women in domestic situations is an extremely important concern to Native American communities. We appreciate the support of the FBI and U.S. Attorney Kirsch in prosecuting Mr. Gamboa for his crime committed against a member of our tribal community.”

The Pokagon Tribal Police Department collaborated with the FBI on the investigation and the case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke N. Reilander.

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