McGirt Sentenced to Life Imprisonment


Friday, August 27, 2021 - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Jimcy McGirt, age 72, of Holdenville, Oklahoma was sentenced to life imprisonment and five years supervised release for two counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse In Indian Country, and one count of Abusive Sexual Contact in Indian Country.


The life sentences on each count were ordered to run concurrently.


In 1997, Jimcy McGirt was tried and convicted of First Degree Rape by Instrumentation, Lewd Molestation, and Forcible Sodomy in the District Court of Wagoner County. While serving two 500 year sentences and a sentence of life without parole in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, McGirt, an Indian, challenged his conviction, arguing the crimes occurred in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation and Congress had never disestablished the reservation, therefore, the State of Oklahoma did not have jurisdiction to prosecute him.


On July 9, 2020, the United States Supreme Court agreed with McGirt and vacated his state convictions. McGirt was subsequently charged in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. Last November, McGirt was convicted by a federal jury after evidence was presented proving the defendant sexually assaulted a four-year-old child.


“The sentences imposed today are the culmination of many hours of investigation, case preparation, legal research and case presentation by Assistant United States Attorneys Sarah McAmis and Courtney Jordan,” said Acting United States Attorney Christopher J. Wilson. “Through tremendous cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, our office was able to help provide justice for the victim. We are elated Judge Heil followed the government’s recommendation and sentenced the defendant to a term of life imprisonment, which was above the advisory sentencing guideline range of 210-262 months. Today’s non-paroleable sentence will ensure the defendant is never be able to victimize another child.”


"While Jimcy McGirt's abhorrent crimes devastated and traumatized his community for years, the incredible bravery of his victims ultimately secured today's sentence," said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Melissa Godbold. "Because of their courage, Mr. McGirt will never again harm a child. FBI investigators were proud to partner with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma on this landmark case."


The Honorable John F. Heil, III, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the sentencing hearing. Assistant United States Attorneys Sarah McAmis and Courtney Jordan represented the United States. McGirt was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal to await commitment to a United States Bureau of Prisons facility to serve his non-paroleable sentence of incarceration.



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