Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article said Charles Bowman faces up to three years in jail after being found guilty of trespassing. The trespassing charge, a class B misdemeanor, comes with a maximum sentence of three months in jail- not three years. Under New York’s Penal Law Article 10, jail sentences for misdemeanor charges cannot e
A Seneca County man has been found guilty of one charge but was acquitted on another in connection with a brawl on Cayuga Indian Nation property in 2020.
Charles Bowman of Fayette was found guilty in Seneca Falls Town Court of criminal trespassing, but not guilty of an assault charge. Bowman faces a sentence of up to three months in jail, one-year probation and a $500 fine. He’ll be sentenced on September 28.
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In a statement to FingerLakes1.com, Bowman said he’s pleased the jury did not convict him on the assault charge. He added that he would like to see action taken against the Halftown faction members involved in the 2020 incident.
“I am pleased with the outcome of the verdict on the [assault] charge. The testimony from Spencer Walker was fraudulent and without foundation. The jury seen thru His 3 different stories. As for the [trespassing] I respect the jury verdict on the information they received. I will probably appeal that in September.
Now I hope the Seneca falls PD and Seneca county sheriff set up and press charges against Mark Lincoln and the members of Pathfinder Solution. this has been a stacked case by the Seneca County DA from day 1. The men who assaulted me should now be arrested. The excuses to protect these men need to end.”
Pathfinder Solutions is a security company formed under Halftown. It’s led by Mark Lincoln and serves as a private police force for the Cayuga Nation.
Brawl breaks out in clash of Cayuga factions
Bowman was involved in the fight on Nation property in Seneca Falls between the traditional Cayuga faction and a police force formed by Clint Halftown, who is the federally-recognized leader of the Cayugas.
A week before the incident the property, which had been occupied by the traditional faction, was raided by Cayuga police. Halftown claimed the property was occupied illegally. Citing the Cayuga Nation’s sovereign status, local law enforcement did not get involved.
In the wake of the incident, Bowman sued the Cayuga police force, saying he had been assaulted. Halftown filed a defamation suit against Bowman, who countersued.
In a statement released through its PR firm, the Cayuga Nation said:
“The Cayuga Nation applauds the efforts of the Seneca Falls Police Department and the Seneca County District Attorney in prosecuting Charles Bowman. Mr. Bowman trespassed onto Nation property and quickly engaged in a series of violent confrontations, despite repeated warnings from Nation police officers. The Seneca Falls Police Department did the lawful thing in investigating Mr. Bowman’s conduct and referring it for prosecution. Those who violate the law should be held accountable, and the Cayuga Nation appreciates the jury’s careful consideration of the evidence resulting in the just conviction of Mr. Bowman for his unlawful trespassing on Cayuga Nation property.”
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“The Cayuga Nation reaffirms its commitment to protect Nation citizens and property from crimes and violent transgressions. Inherent in the Nation’s sovereign authority is the power to establish a law enforcement authority to enforce its laws against Natives on its reservation. The Nation’s police will be resolute in their mission and the Nation hereby gives notice to those who might consider following Mr. Bowman’s example. The Nation’s Police Department has worked closely with its fellow law enforcement agencies in a coordinated effort to eliminate the plague of violence instigated by a small number of cynical and frustrated individuals who pursue their own enrichment under the guise of standing for ‘traditional’ values. The Nation will not tolerate a return to the environment in years past where such conduct went unpunished.”