News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Fergus Falls man indicted for sexually assaulting a woman

March 1, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS—A federal indictment recently unsealed charges a 31-year-old Fergus
Falls man with the sexual assault of a Red Lake woman. The indictment, originally filed on
February 22, 2012, alleges that Kevin John Ehrich committed one count of aggravated sexual
abuse on March 28, 2010. The indictment was unsealed following Ehrich’s initial appearance in
federal court. Ehrich, who was arraigned earlier today, remains in custody pending trial.

If convicted, Ehrich faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison. All sentences will
be determined by a federal district court judge. This case is the result of an investigation by the
Red Lake Tribal Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being
prosecuted by Assistant United States 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

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.

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