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TRIGGER WARNING: This story contains material regarding sexual misconduct allegations involving a minor.

Kolby KickingWoman 
ICT

In Pawnee County District Court, Walter “Bunky” Echo-Hawk Jr. is facing an additional felony charge.

Echo-Hawk was originally charged with lewd behavior with a child under 16 years and prosecutors are adding the charge of felony possession of juvenile pornography, which Echo-Hawk is set to be arraigned on next week.

He pleaded not guilty to the original charge and denied the new allegation in a statement. 

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According to the affidavit, on Dec. 17, 2021, members of the Pawnee Police Department served a search warrant at Echo-Hawk’s residence where numerous items of evidence were collected, one item being an iPad.

After a data extraction on the device, a number of images were “classified as possibly containing images of child sexual abuse,” the affidavit says.

In a statement to emailed to ICT by Echo-Hawk's attorney, he said he is devastated and not guilty of the charges.

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“I want to be perfectly clear: I have never in my life accessed, sought or held any interest in viewing that type of material in any way, shape or form,” Echo-Hawk said in the written statement. “I am shocked, bewildered and devastated by just the thought of this allegation — and like the false claims made against me previously — I am not guilty of what I have been accused of. I eagerly look forward to proving my innocence in court, and simply request privacy for my family during this painful chapter of our lives.”

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Echo-Hawk’s attorney, Dan Good of the law firm Adler Markoff & Associates, said in a email to ICT that the nature of the charge is horrific and has troubled his client deeply.

"As we are so often reminded in this day-and-age, it is vital to uphold the essential role that due process serves—especially in these types of cases—where the investigative process is still underway and in its early stages, with the content in question and its origins still unknown," Good said in the email. "We must appropriately wait for the facts to be revealed as part of the legal process, and we intend to litigate those facts over the coming months. We are honored to represent Bunky and truly believe the evidence will show he is innocent of these accusations.”

Echo-Hawk is well-known around Indian Country as an artist and poet with his work relating to Native culture and hip-hop.

Echo-Hawk has an arraignment hearing set for Aug. 23 and a preliminary hearing will be scheduled after that.

After the preliminary hearing, the possibility of a trial date may be set for later this fall.

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This story has been updated with statements received from Dan Good