Statement from Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis on the sentencing of a former Blackwater Community School teacher

December 7, 2018


Communications & Public Affairs Office

Gila River Indian Community


SACATON, AZ. - Tadashi Mitchell Harvey, 30, a former teacher at the Blackwater Community School was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell to 21 years in prison followed by lifetime supervised release.


The sentence was delivered after Judge Campbell accepted Harvey’s Plea Agreement in which Harvey plead guilty to two of six counts of Abusive Sexual Contact of a Minor. Within 72 hours of release, Harvey will be required to register as a sex offender.


Harvey may never be able to contact directly or indirectly the Victims or the Victims’ families without advanced written permission. Moreover, as of August 27, 2018, Harvey was excluded indefinitely by Community Court Order from the Gila River Indian Community.


Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis has released the following statement concerning the sentencing on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, of Tadashi Mitchell Harvey:


“On behalf of our Community Council and every member of our Community, I am grateful that the federal district court has rendered what amounts to a life sentence for acts Harvey committed against children of the Gila River Indian Community.


Harvey abused a position of trust as a teacher at Blackwater Community School, and now he will never again work around children. It is my hope that this sentence will help our young people and families to heal.”


While the Blackwater Community School is operated independently of the Community, the school is sited on the Gila River Indian Reservation and it serves scores of Community children in grades K-5.


“My administration has closely monitored the progress of this case through the federal district court and in the Community Court. Although justice has now been achieved in the courts, we will continue to work to ensure that every single Gila River Indian Community child is protected as fully as possible from individuals who intend to do harm.


The children and families of the children harmed by Harvey continue to remain in my heart, and in my prayers. Thank you for your strength and patience throughout this ordeal.”