The Trouble With Dollar General: SCOTUS Takes on Tribal Jurisdiction in Sexual Assault Case


It was supposed to be the quintessential rite of passage. In the summer of 2003, John Doe did what a lot of teenagers do: He got a job. As a participant in the Youth Opportunity Program (YOP), the 13-year-old would be paid by his tribe, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, while he got work experience at the Dollar General store on the tribe’s reservation. In exchange, the retail giant would get free labor while training local tribal members and teaching them job skills.

But what began as a win-win for everyone went horribly wrong. During the course of his brief internship, the boy (whose real name has been changed to protect his identity) alleged that he was sexually assaulted several times during work hours by the store’s manager, Dale Townsend, according to court documents.



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