Judicial Center

Choctaw Jury Convicts Cowlington Resident of Sexual Abuse of a Child Within Choctaw Reservation

Published July 28, 2023

DURANT, OK – The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) announced Jonathan Ray Adams, 34, of Cowlington, Oklahoma was found guilty of six counts of child sexual abuse on July 26, 2023, in violation of the CNO Criminal Code.

The six-member jury trial began with testimony on Monday, July 24, 2023, and concluded on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, with the guilty verdicts. Based on the verdicts, the defendant is facing up to three years imprisonment on each charge which, if run consecutively, can be stacked for a maximum of nine years of imprisonment. Sentencing in tribal courts must conform with the federal Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010.

These guilty verdicts were the result of an interagency investigation involving Choctaw Nation Lighthorse Police, the Leflore County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Choctaw Nation District Judge Richard Branam presided over the trial and ordered the completion of a presentence report. Sentencing is scheduled for September 12, 2023, following the completion of the report. Adams was remanded to the custody of CNO’s Criminal Justice Department to be held pending the imposition of sentencing.

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma was represented by Tribal Prosecutor Kara Bacon and assisted by Spencer Harvey in the trial. “In this case, a family was torn apart by Mr. Adams’ selfish and sickening actions,” said Bacon. “It has been a journey for the victim and the family. I commend the jury on their ability to set aside their own personal discomfort and reach a decision in this matter.

“This conviction would not have been possible without the cooperation of the Leflore County District Attorney’s Office, Leflore County Sherriff’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation working with our Lighthorse Police and the Tribal Prosecutor’s Office,” Bacon said. “If you hurt a child in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, we will work cooperatively across the public safety sector to ensure you are brought to justice.”

About The Choctaw Nation

The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 225,000 tribal members and 12,000-plus associates. This ancient people has an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 square miles. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity.


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