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Fort Totten Man sentenced for sexually abusing an incapacitated person

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 12:39 PM CST
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SPIRIT LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A Fort Totten man has been sentenced for sexually abusing of an incapacitated person.

U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley announced Tuesday that U.S. District Court Chief Judge Peter Welte sentenced 55-year-old Paul Henry Cavanaugh to serve 21 years and 8 months in federal prison. He will also be on supervised release for life and is ordered to pay $100 special assessment to the Crime Victims’ Fund for the offense of Sexual Abuse of an Incapacitated Victim.

On August 14, 2020, a jury found Cavanaugh guilty after a four-day trial in Fargo. In March 2018, an 18-year-old woman reported that she was at Cavanaugh’s residence on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation when he gave her alcohol that she drank and eventually fell asleep.

The victim later woke up and discovered Cavanaugh was physically forcing her to engage in a sexual act while she was incapacitated.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the North Dakota Crime Laboratory and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jacob T. Rodenbiker and Lori H. Conroy.

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