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Man at Center of Tribal Sovereignty Ruling Convicted in Federal Trial

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A member of the Seminole Nation who was convicted in state court of sexually assaulting a child was found guilty by a federal jury on Friday.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in July that Oklahoma prosecutors lack the authority to pursue criminal cases against Native Americans in parts of the state. The ruling came in a challenge from Jimcy McGirt, 72, to his 500-year prison sentence and conviction in 1997 for molesting a child.

After the Supreme Court decision, a federal grand jury indicted McGirt on three counts of aggravated sexual abuse.

The case involved the boundaries of the Creek Nation. The high court determined that a large swath of eastern Oklahoma remains a Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation. As a result, either the federal government or the tribal nation has jurisdiction over crimes committed by or against Native Americans, not the state.

McGirt’s federal trial in Muskogee lasted three days.

McGirt has been in the custody of the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office since his release from prison.

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