U.S. Attorney’s Office
April 16, 2013
District of Minnesota
Federal Jury Finds Red Lake Man Guilty of Assaulting a Woman
MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court in Duluth, a jury found a 44-year-old Red Lake man guilty of causing serious bodily injury to a woman after assaulting her while on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. Following a two-day trial, the jury convicted Roderick Arlyn Sayers on one count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Sayers was indicted on November 5, 2012.
According to both the evidence presented at trial and the indictment, on November 25, 2011, Sayers assaulted the victim, which resulted in serious bodily injury. The victim, who was Sayers’ girlfriend, had a significant mouth injury and a loose tooth.
For his crime, Sayers faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. United States District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle will determine his sentence at a future hearing, not yet scheduled.
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 U.S. Attorneys Deidre Y. Aanstad and Thomas Calhoun-Lopez.
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 will explore current issues raised by professionals in the field and recommend “best practices” in prosecution strategies involving domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Violence against American Indian women occurs at epidemic rates. In 2005, Congress found 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 in during their lives than Caucasian women.