A Quapaw man who falsely portrayed himself as a Native American spiritual counselor received a life prison sentence after a federal jury convicted him of sexually abusing an American Indian minor, traveling out of state to have illegal sex and illegally possessing government-restricted eagle body parts.
Chief U.S. District Judge John F. Heil III on Thursday ordered Carl Gene Ortner Jr., 57, to serve a life sentence, the maximum prison term permitted under the law, and pay a $100,000 fine.
Ortner originally was charged in 2018 with second-degree rape by Ottawa County District Court prosecutors. He pleaded guilty in 2019 to the rape charge and received a 15-year sentence with all but the first two years suspended.
Ortner did not appeal his state conviction and sentence. But that didn’t stop a federal grand jury from charging him in a five-count indictment unsealed in October.
The indictment followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s McGirt ruling in July 2020 that the state of Oklahoma did not have jurisdiction to charge American Indians involved in major crimes in Indian Country.
A federal jury convicted Ortner May 18 on all five counts in a superseding indictment following a two-day trial in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.
“The victim in this case and two others bravely came forward and shined a light on Ortner’s criminal behavior,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Today’s life sentence sends a strong message that the sexual abuse of children will not be tolerated.”
The victim told investigators that she first had sex with Ortner in November 2017 when she was 15 after he pressured her to do so.
Prosecutors said Ortner gave the youth eagle feathers to win her trust, as well as trust from her family.
During his trial, two other women testified that Ortner groomed them as minors and sexually abused them.