MT Supreme Court Rules BIA Responsible for Sex Incident on Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation – Sheridan Media
A Northern Cheyenne tribal woman is praised by lawyers for suing a BIA officer and proving that those who live on the reservation have the same rights as those who don’t.
Montana’s highest court has ruled that the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs can be held liable for damages awarded to a Northern Cheyenne tribal woman, who became pregnant after being forced into intercourse sex with an on-duty BIA agent, who threatened her with criminal charges.
The incident happened in 2015 on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.
The victim was initially given $1.6 million to be paid by the former officer, who was also sentenced to a 3-year federal prison term.
In the original ruling, a district court judge said the BIA could not be held responsible for the payment because, under federal law, the incident was outside the officer’s duties.
The Montana Supreme Court ruled that the BIA could be held liable under state law.
The case has been remanded to the district court, to determine how much the BIA can be held liable.
The BIA has not commented on the case.
The woman is not identified in public court documents, as she was the victim of a sex crime.