RALEIGH – Acting United States Attorney G. Norman Acker, III, announced that United States District Judge James C. Dever III civilly committed Oliver Lee White, 33, to the custody of the Attorney General as a sexually dangerous person under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.
White was alleged to have sexually molested at least 13 young girls on the Crow Indian Reservation, Montana. The evidence at trial showed that beginning in 2007, when White was around 20 years old, until 2013, White repeatedly molested young girls, ranging from the ages of 2 to 13, at the home of his adoptive mother, Peggy White (a/k/a Well-Known Buffalo). Peggy White’s home, which is the location of The Center Pole, a non-profit organization in Garryowen, Montana, always had children around, including children being fostered by Peggy White. The layout of the facility made it easy for White to avoid supervision and detection of his predatory conduct. The evidence showed White had a persistent and common pattern of sexually offending the young girls by isolating them and then molesting them for his own sexual gratification.
As a result of his serious criminal offenses, White was criminally charged in United States District Court for the District of Montana with numerous sex crimes. Peggy White and her partner, Susan Kelly, were also criminally charged with misprision of felony for their part in enabling him and covering up White’s molestations. However, due to his mental illnesses, White was deemed incompetent to stand trial, and as a result, Peggy White and Susan Kelly were unable to be prosecuted for their alleged crimes. Ultimately though, the United States certified White as a sexually dangerous person under the Adam Walsh Act. Congress passed this Act to provide another powerful legal mechanism for protecting the public from some of the nation’s most dangerous sexual offenders. The Act allows the United States to seek civil commitment of sexually dangerous persons who, because of a serious mental illness, abnormality, or disorder, would have serious difficulty refraining from sexually violent conduct or child molestation.
The United States believed that White met every element of that definition and the Court agreed. On September 30, 2021, Judge Dever announced his ruling and civilly committed White to the custody of the Attorney General as a sexually dangerous person. In doing so, Judge Dever credited the “credible, consistent, and extremely persuasive” testimony of five of White’s victims, finding that White molested them. Judge Dever also found that White suffers from Pedophilic Disorder and Intellectual Disability, and as a result of these serious mental illnesses, abnormalities, or disorders White would have serious difficulty refraining from child molestation if released. In particular, Judge Dever observed that members of White’s family, including his mother, “concealed the allegations and degraded the victims.” The Court concluded that if White returned to an environment like The Center Pole with young girls around, he would molest again.
“This was a tragic and unique case,” said Acting United States Attorney G. Norman Acker, III. “Because Mr. White could not be criminally prosecuted due to his incompetency, the Government was required to prove in this civil proceeding he had committed acts of child molestation. The Government did so through the courageous, gut-wrenching testimony of his victims, who traveled across the country to face their abuser and his family members who concealed his conduct. Presenting such fragile testimony is no easy feat, and as such, I express my deep appreciation to the FBI agents, victim specialists, and forensic interview specialists in Montana for their tireless efforts in working with the victims. In particular, FBI Victim Specialist Michele Stewart was invaluable. Without her exceptional rapport with the victims and personal involvement, including traveling with the victims to North Carolina to testify, they may not have found the courage to testify. The victims’ courageous testimony will help keep others safe from Mr. White.” Mr. Acker continued, “This case is a great example of how a true team effort can help make the communities within this District and across the country safer.”
“The Judge’s decision provides some measure of justice as Oliver White will never have the opportunity to hurt another child,” said Special Agent in Charge Dennis Rice of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office. “We commend the survivors of White’s abuse who demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity and acted to protect other children in a selfless display of their courage. The FBI wishes to thank the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services for their invaluable partnership investigating this years-long case."
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina litigates all Adam Walsh Act cases for the entire country. All sexually dangerous persons who are committed to federal custody are housed in a federal facility in that district, where intensive, residential treatment is offered to them. White is the eighty-sixth sexually dangerous person committed under the Adam Walsh Act.
Assistant United States Attorney Michael Bredenberg and Special Assistant United States Attorney Genna Petre represented the government in this case with assistance from Paralegal Amy Dale and Victim Specialists Michelle Scott, Kory Williford, and Michele Stewart.
Related court documents and information from the civil lawsuit are on PACER by searching for Case No.5:17-hc-02162-D.