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Grygla Man Indicted for Sexually Abusing Three Girls

MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier this week in federal court, a 59-year-old man from the northern Minnesota community of Grygla was charged in a superseding indictment for sexually abusing two additional girls while on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. On May 21, 2012, Dean Earl Wilkens was charged with one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 and one count of abusive sexual conduct, in addition to the existing three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12. Wilkens remains in custody.

The indictment alleges that between December 12, 2008 and December 12, 2011, Wilkens, an Indian, engaged in sexual acts with each of the three girls. According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the case, on December 12, 2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was informed of one of the assaults. One of the victims had disclosed the abuse to a school official, who contacted law enforcement.

If convicted, Wilkens faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison on each count. 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. 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.

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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