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Tribal Police Receive High Praise For Professional Investigation In Child Rape Case

May 29, 2012 –

MAYETTA:  The Potawatomi Tribal Police Department received high praise from Barry Grissom, the U.S. Attorney in Kansas, and the PBPN Tribal Council for thoroughly investigating and cooperating with other law enforcement agencies that contributed to a plea of no contest from a man in a child rape case.

A  press release issued from Grissom’s office said that Trent Robinson, 51, pleaded no contest in Jackson County District Court to a charge of raping a child under 14 years of age that occurred on the reservation.   A judge found Robinson guilty and has set sentencing for June 27.

Robinson was NOT a PBPN tribal member or a member of any tribe, as was erroneously reported in the Topeka Capital-Journal on May 25.  A retraction was issued by the newspaper the following day after officials from the Tribal administration notified them about the misinformation.

In return for Robinson’s plea to the charge in state court, the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed not to file federal charges against him.  “Mr. Robinson was unwilling to enter a plea until he was assured in writing there would be no federal charges,” said U.S. Attorney Grissom.

The parties have agreed to recommend a “hard 25” sentence.

“After consulting with the Jackson Country Attorney’s Office and tribal law enforcement, I agreed with them that justice would be served in this case by a sentence of 25 years without parole,” Grissom said.

Steve Ortiz, tribal chairman said: “The PBPN Tribal Council is pleased with the swift and professional job with which the PBPN Police Department conducted the investigation in this case.  The Tribal Council also appreciates the cooperative efforts of the Jackson County Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Police Department. They worked collaboratively and speedily to bring the defendant to justice while continuing to make and keep the PBPN a safe community in which to work and live.”

Shawna Miller, Jackson County Attorney, said:  The Prairie Band Potawatomi Police Department conducted a professional and thorough investigation into this matter.  The cooperation between my office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office ensured that a child rapist has been taken off the streets for twenty-five years, without any further trauma to the child in this case.”

In his plea, Robinson admitted that he had sexual intercourse with a minor child on the reservation.

Grissom commended the Tribal Police Department, Jackson County Attorney Shawna Miller and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger for their work on the case.