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Case Number: 4:20-cr-00218-JZ
Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma (Tulsa County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Tulsa, Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer represented defendant charged with aggravated sexual abuse of a minor in Indian Country and of abusive sexual contact of a minor in Indian Country.
“Robert Perry exploited a young child’s trust when he repeatedly sexually abused her for over a year. I am thankful for her courageous testimony this week which helped ensure Perry’s conviction,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “I am also thankful that a vigilant teacher took action to protect her young student from further abuse. Because they often build positive relationships with their students, school faculty are frequently the first to learn about and report child physical and sexual abuse. I appreciate their partnership in the fight to protect children and to bring their abusers to justice.”
“The defendant preyed on an innocent child solely for his own pleasure, without regard to the grievous and long-lasting harm his depraved conduct would cause,” said Special Agent in Charge Edward Gray of the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office. “Let it be known that the FBI and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate crimes against children, and as evidenced by today’s verdict, neither will the community.”
From May 6, 2017, to May 15, 2018, Perry sexually abused the minor. Prosecutors contended that Perry would coerce the young child into sex acts then “reward” her with candy, other items, and the opportunity to play video games in what the defendant termed as his “man cave,” a closet where he regularly played video games and watched pornography. Most of the abuse occurred in the closet while the child was in the defendant's care. The child eventually told a friend at school about the abuse. Another student overheard the discussion and reported it to her teacher. The teacher had a conversation with the victim, who then disclosed the abuse and wrote about it. The teacher reported the crimes to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
In a forensic interview, the young child was initially hesitant to speak about the abuse but indicated that Perry made her keep secrets. She eventually drew a picture of the abuse when she was examined by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. She also testified about the abuse at a state trial and this week’s federal trial.
In closing, federal prosecutors asked the jury to focus on the victim, reminding them that her description of the abuse to authorities had remained consistent. Prosecutors further explained that children don’t just make up details and vivid descriptions of sexual abuse nor retell their story repeatedly for four years simply to gain attention. They asked the jury to follow the evidence, to believe the victim’s testimony and to find Perry guilty.
Perry was previously convicted in Tulsa County District Court in 2020, but the conviction was later dismissed because the state lacked jurisdiction to prosecute the case. Perry is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation and the crimes occurred within the tribe’s reservation. Based on the Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v Oklahoma, only the federal government or tribes have jurisdiction to prosecute cases that occur in Indian Country and that involve either Native American victims or defendants.
The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex M. Scott and Valeria G. Luster are prosecuting the case.
18:1151, 1153 and 2241(c): Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child in Indian Country
18:1151, 1153, and 2241(c): Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Indian Country
18 USC 1151, 1153, and 2241(c): Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Minor Under 12 in Indian Country
18:1151, 1153 and 18:2244(a)(5): Abusive Sexual Contact of a Child in Indian Country
18:1151, 1153, and 2244(a)(5): Abusive Sexual Contact of a Minor in Indian Country
18 USC 1151, 1153, and 2244(a)(5): Abusive Sexual Contact with a Minor in Indian Country
Outcome: Defendant was found guilty.