QUAPAW, Okla. — A Quapaw man that portrayed himself as a spiritual counselor was sentenced Thursday for sexually abusing a Native American minor and illegally possession parts of protected eagles, according to a release from Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Sexual predator Carl Gene Ortner, 57, of Quapaw, was sentenced to life in federal prison and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.
Back in May of this year, a jury found Ortner guilty of ‘transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, sexual abuse of a child in Indian Country, abusive sexual contact in Indian Country, possession of parts of a bald eagle, and possession of parts of a golden eagle.‘
Ortner is accused of using eagle feathers and other items to portray himself as a Native American spiritual counselor to the child while claiming to be a part of several local tribes, yet no tribe claimed Ortner.
An agent with the Fish and Wildlife Service testified that investigators found feathers, heads, talons, and entire wings belonging to bald or golden eagles at Ortner’s residence.
Evidence at the trail showed Ortner used this influence and forced the child into sexual relations by abusing her cultural beliefs as well as the recent death of one of her loved one’s to further his grooming.
Sexual abuse towards the child began in 2016 with some instances taking place within state jurisdiction, and on Indian land, which is under federal jurisdiction. Ortner at one point drove the child to Joplin, Missouri to engage in criminal sexual activity which also falls under federal jurisdiction.
Witnesses testified that Ortner would embarrass the victim and her tribe if she went public with the sexual assault he inflicted. Two other women testified that Ortner also groomed them as minors and sexually abused them.
In the Government’s closing, U.S. Attorney Ryan Roberts called Ortner “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” stating that he disguised himself as a caring Native American elder to get close to the victims. Then when the time was right, Ortner took advantage of the victims.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, FBI, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan Roberts and Shannon Cozzoni prosecuted the case.