By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Lander woman was sentenced to prison this week for making false accusations about being sexually assaulted.
Rachael Myla Stagner, 36, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne to just under two years in prison, 21 months in total. She was indicted in September and pleaded guilty in January to allegations she made false claims that she was sexually assaulted by a white man on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Her initial report of the assault initiated an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, since the FBI has jurisdiction over the reservation. During the course of the investigation, Stagner maintained her claims in an effort to extort money from the victim, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI take any allegation of sexual assault seriously,” said Acting United States Attorney Bob Murray. “The resources our offices have to investigate and prosecute crimes on the Wind River Indian Reservation are limited, and false reports hinder and delay other investigations. Not to mention how actions like this belittle the crime of sexual assault and those who are true victims,” concluded Murray.
Upon completion of her prison sentence, Stagner will serve three years of supervised released. she was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.
“The FBI and our law enforcement partners take seriously acts of violence and sexual assault targeting our Native American community. False claims of such crimes, in this case meant to extort the alleged perpetrator, result in the diversion of valuable law enforcement and victim service resources away from actual victims,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider. “The FBI thanks our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs – Wind River Police Department, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, and Montana Department of Corrections – Adult Probation & Parole for their work in this matter.”