Crime, Law and Justice

Child abuse charges dismissed against Red Lake woman

The Todd County Attorney’s Office has dismissed child abuse charges against a Red Lake woman arrested last month after an Amber Alert was issued.

Jennifer Stately, 35, faced charges of assault, torture, malicious punishment and neglect of a child under the age of 4.

When she was stopped by police on March 15, the child in her car had wounds over much of their body, according to the charging documents.

Stately was to appear in Todd County District Court on Monday.

Her attorney filed a motion to dismiss the charges on the grounds Todd County did not have jurisdiction because Stately is from Red Lake Nation, where the state does not have authority under Public Law 280.

Public Law 280 is a federal act which grants some states, including Minnesota, criminal jurisdiction on Indian Reservations. Red Lake Nation is exempt from that law so state courts have no jurisdiction there.

The motion for dismissal also said none of the alleged acts happened in Todd County and Stately has a constitutional right to a trial in the county where the acts are alleged to have occurred.

Through a staff member, County Attorney John Lindemann declined to comment on why he dismissed the charges.

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