Red Lake Man Pleads Guilty To Assaulting A Woman
MINNEAPOLIS—Yesterday in federal court in St. Paul, a 32-year-old Red Lake man pleaded guilty to assaulting a female resident of the Red Lake Indian Reservation. Immediately before his trial was scheduled to begin, David James Cook pleaded guilty to one count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
Cook, who was indicted on July 19, 2011, entered his plea before United States District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank. In his plea agreement, Cook accepted responsibility for assaulting the woman. As a result of this assault, the victim sustained serious bodily injury.
For his crime, Cook faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison. Judge Frank will determine his sentence at a future hearing. This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Red Lake Tribal Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Deidre Y. Aanstad.
Because the Red Lake Indian Reservation is a federal-jurisdiction reservation, some of the crimes that occur there are investigated by the FBI in conjunction with the Red Lake Tribal Police Department. Those cases are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The U.S. Justice Department is taking steps to increase engagement, coordination and action relative to public safety in tribal communities, including the creation of the Violence Against Women Federal and Tribal Prosecution Task Force. This task force will explore current issues raised by professionals in the field and recommend “best practices” in prosecution strategies involving domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
Violence against American Indian women occurs at epidemic rates. In 2005, Congress found that one in three American Indian women is raped during her lifetime, and American Indian women are nearly three times more likely to be battered in during their lives than