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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 22, 2012

Red Lake Man Sentenced For Sexually Abusing A Woman

MINNEAPOLIS – Earlier today in federal court, a 30-year-old Red Lake man was
sentenced for sexually abusing a woman while on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. United
States District Court Chief Judge Michael J. Davis sentenced Douglas Wayne Tarnow to 480
months in prison on one count of aggravated sexual abuse. Tarnow was indicted on March 8,
2011, and was convicted on May 19, 2011.

According to the indictment and the evidence presented at trial, Tarnow caused the woman
to engage in a sexual act by force. A law enforcement affidavit filed in the case states that
Tarnow convinced the woman to meet him at his aunt’s residence on January 30, 2011. At 10:30
p.m., the woman arrived, and she and Tarnow began arguing. During the course of that
argument, Tarnow grabbed the woman, threw her to the ground, and assaulted her. He then
forced her to have sex with him.

This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the
Red Lake Tribal Police Department, with assistance from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.
It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clifford B. Wardlaw.

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 explores current issues raised
by professionals in the field and recommends “best practices” in prosecution strategies involving
domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Violence against American Indian women occurs at epidemic rates. In 2005, Congress
reported 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 during their lives as
Caucasian women.

 

 

Updated April 30, 2015