News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Red Lake man indicted for sexually assaulting a woman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2013


MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 24-year-old Red Lake man was indicted for sexually assaulting a woman while on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. Avery Wade Schoenborn was specifically charged with one count of sexual abuse. The indictment alleges that on May 7, 2013, Schoenborn engaged in a sexual act with the victim, who was incapable of declining participation in the act.

If convicted, Schoenborn faces a potential penalty of life in prison. Any sentence would 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 women.

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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