National Indian Country Clearinghouse on Sexual Assault

Federal Laws:


Statutes - 84

Protocols - 1

Other Resources - 7

 

 

Statutes:

 

18 U.S.C. § 13 - The Assimilative Crimes Act

 

The Assimilative Crimes Act provides federal jurisdiction over lesser crimes committed in Indian Country that are not defined by federal law (for example the crime of indecent exposure). The Assimilative Crimes Act borrows state criminal law and applies it through federal law to Indian Country. Thus, under this Act, a perpetrator is charged with a federal offense and is tried in federal court, but the crime itself is defined and the perpetrator's sentence are provided by state law.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 113 - Assault

 

This law outlines the relevant federal punishments for committing assault in Indian Country.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 921 - Definitions - The Federal Criminal Firearms Act

 

This statute contains definitions which clarify The Federal Criminal Firearms Laws

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 922 - The Gun Control Act

 

This statute is commonly referred to us the Gun Control Act. Under this Act, certain categories of people are not allowed to possess ship, transport, or receive a firearm. These categories include any person: (1) under indictment or information in any court for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; (2) convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; (3) who is a fugitive from justice; (4) who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance; (5) who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution; (6) who is an illegal alien; (7) who has been discharged from the military under dishonorable conditions; (8) who has renounced his or her United States citizenship; (9) who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner; or (1) who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. It is also illegal to transfer a firearm to somebody who falls into one of the aforementioned categories. NICCSA

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 1151 - The Assimilative Crimes Act

 

This law explains what is Indian Country for the purposes of federal, criminal jurisdiction. Indian Country includes: all land within a reservation; all dependent Native communities (such as the New Mexico Pueblos); and all Indian allotments still in trust, regardless of whether they are located on a reservation.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 1152 - The General Crimes Act

 

The Major Crimes Act gives the federal government jurisdiction over major crimes committed in Indian Country by Indians in Indian Country. These major crimes include: murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, maiming, sexual assault, sexual abuse, incest, assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, an assault against an individual who has not attained the age of 16 years, felony child abuse or neglect, arson, burglary, and robbery.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 1153 - The Major Crimes Act

 

The Major Crimes Act gives the federal government jurisdiction over major crimes committed in Indian Country by Indians in Indian Country. These major crimes include: murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, maiming, sexual assault, sexual abuse, incest, assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, an assault against an individual who has not attained the age of 16 years, felony child abuse or neglect, arson, burglary, and robbery.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 1169 - Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting

 

This statute is a mandatory reporting statute. This statute imposes a federal duty to report child abuse or suspected child abuse in Indian Country. Failure to comply with this statute can result in federal incarceration.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2241 -Federal Aggravated Sexual Abuse Law

 

Under the federal Aggravated Sexual Abuse law, a perpetrator in Indian Country can be convicted of a federal offense if he: (1) knowingly causes a victim to engage in a sexual act by using force against her or by threatening or placing that her in fear that someone will be subjected to death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping if the sexual act is not completed or (2) renders the victim unconscious or administers drugs or alcohol to the victim in order to complete sexual acts with the victim. This law also makes it illegal for the perpetrator to cross state lines in order to engage in a sexual act with a person under the age of 12. Any person convicted under this act can be sentenced to lifetime imprisonment.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2242 - Sexual Abuse Law

 

Under the federal Sexual Abuse law, a perpetrator in Indian Country can be convicted of a federal offense if he: (1) causes another person to engage in a sexual act by threatening or placing that other person in fear or (2) engages in a sexual act with another person if that other person is either incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct physically incapable of declining participation in sexual act. Any person convicted under this law can be sentenced to lifetime imprisonment.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2243 - Sexual Assault of a Minor or Ward

 

Under the federal Abusive Sexual Contact law, a perpetrator in Indian Country can be convicted of a federal offense if he knowingly engages in sexual contact with a victim, if so to do would violate a number of predetermined circumstances. Depending upon which section of this law the perpetrator violates, he can be sentenced up to life imprisonment in the federal penitentiary.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2244 - Abusive Sexual Contact

 

 

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2245 - Offenses Ending in Death

 

Under this federal law, a perpetrator in Indian Country can be sentenced to life imprisonment or the death penalty if he sexually abuses the victim and the victim dies as a result of the attack.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2246 - Definitions - Federal Sexual Abuse Crimes

 

This federal law provides definitions which explain the federal sexual abuse crimes.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2247 - Repeat Offenders

 

This federal law requires that repeat perpetrators of sexual abuse must be sentenced to twice the amount of incarceration than otherwise provided within the federal code.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2248 - Restitution

 

This federal law requires that, after he has been convicted of a federal sex abuse offense, the perpetrator must pay the full amount of the victim's losses. Under this statute, the perpetrator must pay for (A) medical services relating to physical, psychiatric, or psychological care; (B) physical and occupational therapy or rehabilitation; (C) necessary transportation, temporary housing, and child care expenses; (D) lost income; (E) attorneys' fees, plus any costs incurred in obtaining a civil protection order; and (F) any other losses suffered by the victim as a proximate result of the offense. This restitution is not optional, and the trial court must award the victim these damages.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2261 - Interstate Domestic Violence

 

This is a federal domestic abuse law. It prohibits a perpetrator from entering or leaving Indian Country, or causing his intimate partner to enter or leave Indian Country, for the purpose of abusing her. There are a wide variety of punishments under this statute ranging from five years, if there is a standard violation of the statute, to life imprisonment, if the perpetrator kills the victim during the course of the abuse.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2261A - Stalking

 

This is a federal anti-stalking law. It prohibits a perpetrator from entering or leaving Indian Country for the purposes of killing, injuring, harassing or intimidating a victim.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2262 - Protection Orders

 

This law prohibits interstate or Indian Country violations of protection orders. If the perpetrator violates a qualifying protection order in Indian Country, he can be sentenced to up to twenty years imprisonment.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2264 - Restitution

 

This federal law requires that, after he has been convicted of a federal offense of domestic violence, stalking, or violating a protection order, the perpetrator must pay the full amount of the victim's losses. Under this statute, the perpetrator must pay for (A) medical services relating to physical, psychiatric, or psychological care; (B) physical and occupational therapy or rehabilitation; (C) necessary transportation, temporary housing, and child care expenses; (D) lost income; (E) attorneys' fees, plus any costs incurred in obtaining a civil protection order; and (F) any other losses suffered by the victim as a proximate result of the offense. This restitution is not optional, and the trial court must award the victim these damages.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2265A - Repeat Offenders

 

This federal law requires that repeat perpetrators of sexual abuse must be sentenced to twice the amount of incarceration than otherwise provided within the federal code.

 

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2265 - Full Faith and Credit Given to Protection Orders

 

This federal law requires that qualifying protection orders issued by tribal courts must be given Full Faith and Credit by other jurisdictions, including other tribes and states.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2266 - Definitions: Domestic Violence and Stalking

 

This law provides definitions that are relevant to the federal protection order, domestic abuse, and stalking laws.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 2267 - Definitions: Federal Protection Order, Domestic Violence and Stalking

 

This law provides definitions that are relevant to the federal protection order, domestic abuse, and stalking laws.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 3142 - Release and Detention Pending Judicial Proceedings

 

This law outlines the different options for releasing a defendant pending a federal criminal trial. Under this statute a defendant can: (1) be released upon his own recognizance (meaning released without having to pay any money to the court); (2) be released according to special, court-specified conditions; (3) temporarily detained for the duration of related proceedings (i.e., bond revocation or deportation); or (4) detained until trial.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 3156 - Definitions: Release and Detention Pending Judicial Proceedings

 

This law contains definitions relevant to interpreting the federal laws about release or detention of a defendant while he is waiting for his federal criminal trial.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 3771 - Crime Victim Rights Act

 

This statute is commonly referred to as the Crime Victims' Rights Act or the CVRA. This statute secures eight rights for victims of federal crimes, including: (1) the right to be reasonably protected from the accused. (2) the right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused; (3) the right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding; (4) the right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding; (5) the reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case; (6) the right to full and timely restitution as provided in law; (7) the right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay; and (8) the right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.

 

 

18 U.S.C. § 7101-12 - The Trafficking Victim Protection Act

 

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (reauthorized in 2003, 2005, and 2008) defines a human trafficking victim as a person induced to perform labor or a commercial sex act through force, fraud, or coercion. Any person under age 18 who performs a commercial sex act is considered a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether force, fraud, or coercion was present. Notably, there is no requirement of actual transportation of the victim. The TVPA enhances pre-existing criminal penalties in other related laws, affords new protections to trafficking victims and makes available certain benefits and services to victims of severe forms of trafficking once they become certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

 

25 U.S.C. § 1601 - Indian Health Care Improvement Act 1976

 

The Indian Healthcare Improvement Act was first passed in 1976. This law encouraged Native students to enter into the health profession and funded comprehensive medical care for tribal members.

 

 

25 U.S.C. § 1601 - The Indian Health Care Improvement Reauthorization and Extension Act of 2009

 

The Indian Healthcare Improvement Reauthorization and Extension Act was passed as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (popularly referred to as "Obamacare"). This Act provided funding for Indian Health Services and includes many major changes and improvements to facilitate the delivery of health care services to Indians, such as: (1) enhancing the authority of the IHS Director, including giving the director the responsibility to facilitate advocacy and promote consultation on matters relating to Indian health within the Department of Health and Human Services; (2) providing statutory authorization for hospice, assisted living, long-term, and home- and community-based care; (3) extending the ability to recover health care costs from third parties to tribally operated facilities; (4) updating the current law regarding collection of reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) by Indian health facilities; (5) allowing tribes and tribal organizations to purchase health benefits coverage for IHS beneficiaries; (6) authorizing IHS to enter into arrangements with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense to share medical facilities and services; (7) allowing a tribe or tribal organization carrying out a program under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act and an urban Indian organization carrying out a program under Title V of IHCIA to purchase coverage for its employees from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; (8) authorizing the establishment of a Community Health Representative program for urban Indian organizations to train and employ Indians to provide health care services; and (9) directing IHS to establish comprehensive behavioral health, prevention, and treatment programs for Indians.

 

 

25 U.S.C. § 1902 - The Indian Child Welfare Act

 

Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)- ICWA is a law passed in 1978 in response to the high number of Indian children being removed from their homes by both public and private agencies. ICWA sets federal requirements that apply to state child custody proceedings involving an Indian child who is a member of or eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe.

 

 

25 U.S.C. § 2810 - Tribal Law and Order Act

 

Tribal Law and Order Act - The Tribal Law & Order Act strongly emphasizes the importance of decreasing violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women. The Act enhances tribes' authority to prosecute and punish criminals; expands efforts to recruit, train, and keep Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Tribal police officers; and provides BIA and Tribal police officers with greater access to criminal information sharing databases. It also authorizes new guidelines for handling sexual assault and domestic violence crimes.

 

 

28 C.F.R. Pt. 72 The Applicability of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act

 

28 C.F.R. pt. 72. This regulation, created by the United States Attorney General's Office, discusses the applicability of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). According to the Attorney General's office, SORNA applies to all sex offenders, regardless of whether SORNA was enacted before or after the sex offender's conviction.

 

 

42 U.S.C. § 112 - Victim Compensation and Assistance Act (VOCA)

 

 

 

 

42 U.S.C. § 136 - Payment of Costs of Testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases

 

 

 

 

42 U.S.C. § 3601 - The Fair Housing Act

 

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Many female victims of sexual violence and domestic violence have successfully used the Fair Housing Act to avoid eviction for the crimes committed against them. According to this argument, because sexual violence and domestic violence are mostly suffered by the female population, it is sexual discrimination to evict a woman for being the victim of one of these crimes, even if someone was technically "disturbing the peace" in her apartment.

 

 

42 U.S.C. § 10607 - Services to Victims

 

This statute outlines compensation and services available to victims.

 

 

 

42 U.S.C. § 14011 - Explanation

 

This statute allows a victim to obtain an order against a perpetrator for S.T.D. testing, after sexual abuse charges have been filed against that perpetrator in federal court.

 

 

 

42 U.S.C. § 15601 - The Prison Rape Elimination Act

 

The Prison Rape Elimination Act- The Prison Rape Elimination Act, passed by Congress in 2003, provides resources, recommendations, information, and funding to eliminate rape in local, tribal, state, and federal prisons.

 

 

 

The Adam Walsh Act Title I

 

Title I of the Adam Walsh Act, which is more commonly referred to as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, provides minimum standards for the registration of all sex offenders across the country. It also provides severe criminal punishments for offenders who fail to comply with its requirements.

 

 

Public Law 83 - 280

 

Public Law 83 - 280 (commonly referred to as Public Law 280 or PL 280) transferred legal authority (criminal and civil jurisdiction) away from tribal and federal government to state governments. This law applies to six states: Alaska, California, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

 

 

Public Law 280 or commonly PL280 (18 U.S.C. § 1162, 28 U.S.C. § 1360)

 

Public Law 83- 280 (also Public Law 83 - 280) transferred legal authority (criminal and civil jurisdiction) away from tribal and federal government to state governments. This law applies to six states: Alaska, California, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

 

 

Juvenile Offenders Required to Register Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act

 

 

 

 

Public Law 110-400 - Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act 2008

 

KIDS Act- The Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act (KIDS Act) amended the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) to require that certain sex offenders' internet identifiers be registered. These identifiers may not be posted in public forums such as crime awareness websites.

 

 

SORNA Substantial Implementation Reviews

 

These reports by the Department of Justice's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) discuss the implementation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act for the below listed tribes.

 

Bay Mills Indian Community

Bois Forte Band of Chippewa

Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma

Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana

Comanche Nation

Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation

Gila River Indian Community

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma

Jicarilla Apache Nation

Kalispel Tribe of Indians

Kaw Nation of Oklahoma

Keweena Bay Indian Community

Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma

Kootenai Tribe of Idaho

Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians

Miccosukee Tribe of Florida

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi

Ohkayowninge Tribe

Omaha Tribe of Nebraska

Pascua Yaqui Tribe

Poarch Band of Creek Indians

Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation

Pueblo of Acoma

Pueblo of Isleta

Sac & Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa

Seminole Nation of Oklahoma

The Osage Nation

Tohonoo'odham Nation

Upper Skagit Indian Tribe

Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

 

 

The 2013 Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act

 

The 2013 Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act takes great strides towards ending intimate partner violence committed against American Indian/ Alaskan Native women. Most notably, the law allows tribal criminal courts to prosecute domestic violence laws against non-Indians.

 

 

Violence Against Women Act 1994

 

Violence Against Women Act (1994)- The Violence Against Women Act passed in 1994 focused on: community-coordinated responses that brought together, for the first time, the criminal justice system, the social services system, and private nonprofit organizations responding to domestic violence and sexual assault; recognition and support for the efforts of domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, and other community organizations nationwide working everyday to end this violence; federal prosecution of interstate domestic violence and sexual assault crimes; federal guarantees of interstate enforcement of protection orders; protections for battered immigrants; and a new focus on underserved populations and Native victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

 

 

Violence Against Women Act 2000

 

Violence Against Women Act (2000)- The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act passed in 2000 improved upon the original Violence Against Women Act and focused on: identifying the additional related crimes of dating violence and stalking; the creation of a much-needed legal assistance program for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; promoting supervised visitation programs for families experiencing violence; and further protecting immigrants experiencing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, by establishing U- and T-visas and by focusing on trafficking of persons.

 

 

Violence Against Women Act 2005

 

Violence Against Women Act (2005)- The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act passed in 2005 improved upon Congress' original efforts in 1994 and 2000 and focused on: provisions that exclusively serve to protect immigrant victims of domestic violence but also include immigration protections to alleviate violence against immigrant women that previous legislation had tried, but failed to alleviate; prevention strategies to stop violence before it starts; protecting individuals from unfair eviction due to their status as victims of domestic violence or stalking; creating the first federal funding stream to support rape crisis centers; developing culturally-and linguistically-specific services for communities; enhancing programs and services for victims with disabilities; and broadening VAWA service provisions to include children and teenagers.

 

 

Protocols:

 

Fiscal, Policy, and Legal Consideration Regarding State Compliance with the Adam Walsh Act

 

This issue brief, produced by the Florida Senate, focuses on fiscal, policy, and legal considerations that may be relevant to legislators in determining whether to substantially implement the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

 

 

Other Resources:

 

Procedure for Delegation of Tribal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Responsibilities

 

This document describes the procedure that will be used when the Department of Justice's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking determines that a tribe is unable to implement SORNA within a reasonable amount of time.

 

 

The National Guidelines for Sex Offender Registration and Notification

 

These guidelines, issued by the United States Attorney General's Office, define the proper way for tribes and states to implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

 

 

2008 Report of the National Roundtable on Sex Offender Registration and Notification in Indian Country

 

This report, produced by the Southwest Center for Law and Policy, discusses recommendations on how Tribes can best protect their sovereignty while substantially complying with SORNA's mandatory requirements of sex offender registration and notification.

 

 

List of Tribes Implementing SORNA

 

This document is a list of Tribes/Nations/Pueblos that are working on implementing SORNA at this time. This list includes those tribes that have already substantially implemented the SORNA requirements.

 

 

Violence Against Women Act 2005

 

Violence Against Women Act (2005)- The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act passed in 2005 improved upon Congress' original efforts in 1994 and 2000 and focused on: provisions that exclusively serve to protect immigrant victims of domestic violence but also include immigration protections to alleviate violence against immigrant women that previous legislation had tried, but failed to alleviate; prevention strategies to stop violence before it starts; protecting individuals from unfair eviction due to their status as victims of domestic violence or stalking; creating the first federal funding stream to support rape crisis centers; developing culturally-and linguistically-specific services for communities; enhancing programs and services for victims with disabilities; and broadening VAWA service provisions to include children and teenagers.

 

 

Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006

 

Title I of the Adam Walsh Act, which is more commonly referred to as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, provides minimum standards for the registration of all sex offenders across the country. It also provides severe criminal punishments for offenders who fail to comply with its requirements.

 

 

 

Evaluating The Effectiveness of SORNA for Reducing Sexual Violence Against Women

 

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registration and Notification Policies for Reducing Sexual Violence Against Women, Final Report (2010). This report, sponsored and distributed by the National Institute of Justice, presents results of a study on the effectiveness sex offender registration and notification policy in reducing sexual violence.

 

 

 

National Indian Country Clearinghouse on Sexual Assault, a project by the Southwest Center for Law and Policy © 2013

This project was supported by  Grant No. 2011-TA-AX-K045 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessary represent the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice. All rights reserved. | Privacy policy