Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Kingbird charged in sex crimes


A 21-year-old Red Lake man was indicted May 2 on the charges of sexually abusing two girls while on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Byron Keith Kingbird Jr., was charged with one count of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of abusive sexual contact.

Kingbird was arraigned Friday in federal court in the District of Minnesota.

The indictment alleges that between January and February of 2009, Kingbird engaged in sexual contact with a girl younger than 12. In addition, it alleges that during the same time period, Kingbird engaged in a sexual act with a second girl who was between 12 and 16. According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the case, on January 14, 2010, the Red Lake Tribal Police Department was notified of a sexual abuse complaint filed by one of the victims. During the course of the police investigation, the second victim reported the sexual contact.

If convicted, Kingbird faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison on the charge of abusive sexual contact and a potential maximum penalty of 15 years on the charge of sexual abuse of a minor. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Red Lake Tribal Police Department, with assistance from the Family Advocacy Center in Bemidji. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David P. Steinkamp.

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.

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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