Quapaw Tribe member and current Business Committee vice-chair Thomas C. Mathews has been indicted on a charge of attempted enticement of a minor.
MIAMI - Vice-chairman of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma Business Committee, Thomas Crawfish Mathews, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of attempted enticement of a minor.
In records unsealed Tuesday, Nov. 14, it was revealed Mathews was the focus of an undercover investigation that alleges he attempted to meet with the intention to engage in sexual activity with a 13-year-old.
Mathews, 35, of Miami was arraigned Tuesday in Tulsa federal court and subsequently released on his own recognizance.
Comments regarding the case requested from officials at the offices of the U.S. Homeland Security Central Region and U.S. Attorney Oklahoma Northern District were declined Tuesday.
Assistants tied to the case at the U.S. Attorney's office referred MNR staff to the filed record of the indictment for further details and only confirmed an arrest and ongoing investigation.
An official statement from the Quapaw Tribe was released following the charges against Mathews just after 8 p.m. Tuesday and reads:
"Regarding the indictment of Tribal member Thomas Mathews on federal charges - We were very sad to learn this week that an elected Quapaw leader is facing a federal criminal charge. This matter does not involve our Tribe, and we do not want to prejudge the charges or say or do anything that will impair his ability to get a fair trial. Our people are strongly committed to the principal that a person is innocent in court until proven guilty. However, as Quapaw leaders we have responsibilities to all of our people. For that reason, the Business Committee has requested unanimously that this man tender his resignation so that his personal matter does not interfere with the work of our Tribal government.
"Quapaws believe in justice and fairness and healing, but not just for the person who is accused but also for the victims of a crime as well. This will be our prayer. As Tribal leaders, we will not have anything further to say about this matter."
Check back for more online and in Friday’s print edition.
Dorothy Ballard is the managing news editor of the Miami News-Record. Email her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @dm_ballard.