MUSKOGEE, Okla. (KFOR) – A Muskogee man has been sentenced in federal court to life in prison for Aggravated Sexual Abuse stemming from a 2016 case.

The case began in June 2016 after a 6-year-old child disclosed sexual abuse by now 40-year-old Joseph Stanley Harjo.

Federal prosecutors say five additional witnesses testified at trial that Harjo sexually assaulted each of them when they were between the ages of 4 and 12.

“The defendant is clearly a sexual predator, and the life sentence imposed by the Court ensures he will never be able to victimize another child,” said United States Attorney Christopher J. Wilson. “I am thankful for the cooperative efforts of our law enforcement partners in this case. Their investigative work enabled my Assistant United States Attorneys to pursue the prosecution of the defendant and deliver justice to those he victimized.”

Harjo was found guilty of the offense by a federal jury in November 2021.

“Our children are our most vulnerable citizens, and we will do everything in our power to protect them by getting predators like Harjo off the street,” said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray. “His life sentence stands as a testament to the dedication and collaboration of the FBI, the Muskogee Police Department, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to ensure justice is served for victims of the most serious crimes in Indian Country.”

Harjo has been remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal to await transportation to a United States Bureau of Prisons facility to serve his non-paroleable sentence.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma prosecuted the case because the defendant is a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe and the crime occurred in Muskogee County, within the boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation, and within the Eastern District of Oklahoma.