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Apache chairman criticizes BIA handling of rape cases

The chairman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe of Arizona says the Bureau of Indian Affairs has kept the tribe in the dark about a serial rapist who has victimized 12 girls and 1 young woman on the reservation.

Chairman Ronnie Lupe said the BIA hasn't even told the tribe the identity of the victims. "We don't know the victims, we don't know the families, and there's a suspect we don't know. When are they going to close this question mark?" he told The Arizona Republic.

Lupe said the BIA shared information about the rapist with the media before telling the tribe. He said he has not been personally briefed either.

The BIA said it only learned about the rapes recently before establishing a task force. The agency has set up a tip line 1-800-343-TIPS and is offering a $10,000 reward, which is coming from BIA law enforcement program money.

Separately, the BIA is negotiating a new law enforcement agreement with the tribe. The chief of police was recently placed on leave by the tribe.

Get the Story:
Apache town hit by rapes, upheaval (The Arizona Republic 10/12)

Relevant Links:
White Mountain Apache Tribe -

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