|Fermore Joseph Craig Jr.|
By Bryan Denson
A former Umatilla tribal police officer pleaded guilty this week to making unwanted sexual contact with a woman while off duty last May and lying to the FBI about it, government prosecutors reported.
Fermore Joseph Craig Jr., a 43-year-old Pendleton resident, faces up to five years in prison for making false statements to the FBI, and his conviction will require him to register as a sex offender. He had served as a Umatilla Tribal Police officer for about 15 years.
Craig faces sentencing before U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman on Nov. 4.
"Sexual assault is always a heinous crime," U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall said in a news release. "But when a tribal police officer, whose very duty is to protect the members of a Tribal Nation, commits such an act, the impact is especially egregious as it violates the trust and safety not only of the victim, but the entire tribal community."
Craig intentionally touched the woman on May 11 without her permission and to arouse and gratify his sexual desire, according to prosecutors. When the woman came forward to disclose the abuse, the FBI and Oregon State Police investigated.
Two days after the incident, Craig lied to investigators.