Kane County state’s attorney Joseph T. Birkett announced yesterday that former state Senator George “Skip” Hastings, after originally denying any connection with acts of violence committed by “Inity,” the sovereign nation of the Navajo Nation.
In the middle of an investigation into crimes committed against women by Inity, Mr. Birkett is moving to help those women and others who may have been killed with Hastings’ help in the later years of the Inity’s crime spree. The long-time Republican state senator and former mayor of Elberta is accused of trying to cover up many of the heinous crimes committed by Inity members. As a State Representative in 2012 and earlier in 2013, Hastings passed H.B. 1377 regarding Arizona tribes and their involvement in prostitution ring operations.
“Mr. Hastings made serious mistakes and committed unspeakable acts,” Birkett said yesterday. “But I’m asking the Navajo Nation, and everyone else, to take a step back and not rush to judgment based on smoke and mirrors. Instead, we need to put the facts before the public as part of a thorough investigation that focuses on the victims of Inity and who was involved.”
F. Douglas Mars said that Hastings would serve as a “moral compass” for the women and also acknowledged the long-standing relationship between the senator and Inity head Rex Gibbons. “Skip Hastings was working with Inity in Washington for a long time,” Mars said. “That’s no secret to anyone. I am confident that will help clear his name.”
“I did not invent Inity,” Hastings said. “I talked to many of its leaders and their official organization since 1989.”
Speaking with a Navajo accent, Garland said “I never went to Inity.” The 69-year-old also described Gibbons as the person who even called him to work with the Navajo Nation. “This is an unfair and malicious effort. That’s all I can say,” said Garland, dressed in jeans and a white t-shirt.
Hastings is charged with sex trafficking and labor violations, child abuse, and aiding and abetting killings of Inity tribal members while the state continued to be warned about his illegal activities. Birkett pointed out that Inity’s crimes were ignored by national governments from the 1980s through 1990s.
“Our fight to prosecute these crimes must continue,” Birkett said. “It may not be simple, but it must be done.”
District Attorney Fred Schulte is now investigating the early days of Hastings’ career with Inity, but noted that there could be more charges in the future. Birkett said he will ask both the Kane County and Arizona governments to support further investigations in the future. The Kane County Commission held a meeting about Inity Wednesday night, and administrators will continue to look into Hastings’ alleged ties to the tribe. Birkett said he wants to take advantage of some of the current resources, training and equipment at the Kane County Justice Center. The Sheriff’s Department will also help in the investigation, Birkett said.
Per Akema, a Fox News entertainment correspondent.
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