GREAT FALLS — Jordan Alexander Werk, accused of assaulting and strangling a woman in Lodge Pole on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, was convicted in federal court in Great Falls on Friday.
U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said in a news release that the jury found Werk, 32 years old, guilty of assault by striking, beating, or wounding, and of strangulation.
The jury acquitted Werk of assault of a dating partner resulting in substantial bodily injury.
The prosecution presented evidence at trial that Werk assaulted and strangled the victim on April 8, 2019, in Lodge Pole in Blaine County and on the Fort Belknap Reservation. The victim reported that Werk had assaulted her by grabbing her hair and throwing her to the ground. Werk kicked her in the chest, punched her in the head and choked her, causing her to "see stars" and have trouble breathing.
The victim also told law enforcement that during the assault, Werk told her that he knew how to hit someone to not show bruises and that if she was going to act like a victim, then he would treat her like one. The victim was treated for injuries, including a broken rib, at the Indian Health Service in Harlem.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris presided, and set sentencing for June 3 and continued Werk’s detention.
Werk faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release on the strangulation charge, and a maximum one year in prison, a $100,000 fine and one year of supervised release on the assault count.
“There is no excuse for assaulting a woman. We know that Native women face higher rates of violence and sexual violence and we are committed to prosecuting those who prey on them. I want to thank Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette Stewart, the FBI and the Fort Belknap tribal law enforcement for investigating and prosecuting this case,” U.S. Attorney Alme said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette Stewart prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and Fort Belknap tribal law enforcement.