According to records from the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police, an Isabella County resident is facing federal charges for sexual assault on a minor. 44-year-old George Howard Mandoka of Mount Pleasant was indicted by a federal jury in Bay City on July 8th. He was subsequently arrested.
The indictment claims that Mandoka is guilty of sexually assaulting a minor repeatedly over a period of almost a decade. According to U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade, the assaults are alleged to have taken place between 2001 and 2008 on the Isabella Reservation.
Mandoka was arraigned in the U.S. District Court in Bay City on July 10th. He faces a number of felony charges. These include single counts of aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a minor, and abusive sexual contact.
No details have been provided as to the age of the alleged victim, or the circumstances surrounding the supposed assaults. The allegations were initially investigated by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police. The findings were then submitted to the federal prosecutor.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roy Kranz in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. If convicted, Mandoka is facing the possibility of any number of years in prison, including up to a life sentence.
Under federal law, aggravated sexual abuse is a felony punishable by a very minimum of 30 years and up to life in prison. Sexual abuse of a minor is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The fact that the alleged victim is a minor means that any conviction for abusive sexual contact will result in twice the suggested sentencing time.
Under normal circumstances, a child sexual abuse case would be prosecuted by the state courts. However, because the alleged assault took place on a Native American Reservation, which is legally federal land, the prosecution of that crime must be handled by a federal court.