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Red Lake man indicted for kidnapping, sexual abuse

On Dec. 17, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against a 30-year-old Red Lake man for allegedly kidnapping and sexually abusing a woman.

In the indictment, which was filed with the U.S. District Court, Christopher Michael Strong was charged with one count of aggravated sexual abuse, one count of aggravated assault, and one count of kidnapping. The indictment alleges that on Nov. 9 and Nov. 11, Strong knowingly caused a woman to engage in a sexual act by using force against her; assaulted her, the results being serious bodily injury; and confined, kidnapped and abducted her.

According to an FBI affidavit, the Red Lake Tribal Police were called to a residence at 11 p.m. Nov. 11 in response to a complaint that a woman had been beaten. Upon their arrival, officers were led into a back bedroom, where they found a woman lying on a bed, next to Strong. The woman's eyes were swollen shut, and she had a laceration on her right jaw, a broken nose and bruises on her arms, legs, shoulders and face. She also had a bite mark on the left side of her back. She told officers Strong had punched and kicked her repeatedly over the past several days. She also said he had smashed her face against a wooden stand. In addition, she told the officers Strong had confined her and had forced her to have sex with him.

The victim was transported to the Red Lake Indian Health Service Hospital, then referred to North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji, and ultimately sent to Saint Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd for needed treatment.

If convicted, Strong faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison on the sexual abuse and kidnapping counts and 10 years on the assault count. All sentences are determined by a federal district court judge. This case is the result of an investigation by the Red Lake Tribal Police Department and the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Clifford Wardlaw.

The federal government has primary law enforcement jurisdiction over the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

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 is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.