MESKWAKI SETTLEMENT – A Meskwaki man has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old girl following a missing child investigation.
A FBI agent on Thursday submitted a criminal complaint seeking to charge 21-year-old Damon Whitebreast with sexual abuse of a minor. The case was unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.
According to court records, both Whitebreast and the girl are Native Americans, and the case is brought under the Major Crimes Act, which allows federal prosecutors to pursue charges for certain offenses involving Native Americans on Native American land.
Family members reported the girl missing to the Meskwaki Nation Tribal Police Department on Tuesday after she was last seen around 10 a.m. Monday.
Relatives received a tip that the girl might be at Whitebreast’s home on the settlement, and police went to check. Whitebreast denied the girl was there and after 10 minutes allowed officers to search.
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The child was hiding in Whitebreast’s room at his direction, but police weren’t able to find her, according to court records.
Officers returned about two hours later, and Whitebreast allegedly told the girl to run into the woods and hide, records state.
A relative found the girl walking along the side of a road around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and took her home. She was interviewed at the Blank Children’s STAR Center in Des Moines.
Authorities allege Whitebreast had sent a phone message asking the girl to meet him Monday night and drove her to his home where they had sex.