News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Red Lake man sentenced for assaulting a woman

March 6, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a 33-year-old Red Lake man
was sentenced for assaulting a female resident of the Red Lake Indian Reservation. United
States District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank sentenced David James Cook to 120 months in
prison on one count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Cook was indicted on July 19,
2011, and pleaded guilty on November 14, 2011. The sentence will run concurrent to an
unrelated federal 165-month sentence for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute
oxycodone. That sentence occurred on February 6, 2012.

In his plea agreement, Cook accepted responsibility for assaulting the woman. As a result of
this assault, the victim sustained serious bodily injury.

This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the
Red Lake Tribal Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Deidre Y.

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
Caucasian women.

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