Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Buying American Indian Remains; Avoids Jail Time

Mark Beatty pleaded guilty to buying American Indian remains

Mark Beatty pleaded guilty to buying American Indian remains

Published August 6, 2015

COLUMBUS, OHIO — A 56-year-old, non-American Indian, Ohio man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of purchasing the remains of American Indians. Mark M. Beatty was charged with violating the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

Beatty entered his guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Columbus. His plea will in allow him to avoid jail time for the federal crime.

With his plea, Beatty admitted he knowingly purchased the remains of several American Indians that were unearthed in November 2012 in a rock shelter in Salt Creek Valley in Jackson County, Ohio.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Marous told the court that experts who examined the human remains over the course of two years were those of American Indians. DNA from two of the human remains’ teeth and vertebrae proved to be American Indian remains.

Cradle boards dug up were consistent with traditional American Indian burial rites.

The individuals responsible for digging up the remains and other artifacts will be made to serve a proposed three years sentence of probation and three months home confinement, a $3,500 fine and restitution of $1,000 to the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, which will be cover the costs associated with re-burial of the American Indian remains.

Beatty has agreed to publish an advertisement in a circulation warning others not to engage in illegal digging of American Indian bones and artifacts. Beatty will also be required to perform 100 hours of community service for a program that protects or promotes American Indians and to assist authorities in the prosecution of the human remains diggers.

The plea has yet to be accepted by the U.S. district judge hearing the case.

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