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U.S. attorney’s office requests public’s help in ongoing investigation

MARQUETTE — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that a federal grand jury indicted Michael Philip Dowd, 56, of the L’Anse Indian Reservation (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community), charging him with one count of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of sexual abuse. Each count carries a maximum sentence of life.

“My office is prepared to make its case in court and strongly encourages anyone with information about Mr. Dowd who can assist with this active investigation to contact our Marquette Office,” said Totten. “Our work protecting victims of sexual abuse and holding offenders accountable is some of the most important work we do.”

The indictment, which was returned Tuesday, alleges that from April 8-9, Dowd “knowingly engaged in a sexual act” with the victim by using his body to hold the victim down and performing a sexual act on the victim. The indictment further alleges that Dowd “knowingly engaged in a sexual act” with the victim without the victim’s consent and while the victim was “incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct and physically incapable of declining participation in, or communicating unwillingness to engage in” the sexual act.

“I commend the victim for their bravery and for coming forward to law enforcement, especially considering the horrific and severe sexual abuse alleged in this case,” said Cheyvoryea Gibson, special agent in the charge of the FBI in Michigan. “The FBI, our partners at the Keweenaw Bay Tribal Police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, are committed to addressing the public safety and violence facing Native American communities.”

This case was investigated by the Keweenaw Bay Tribal Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI are continuing to investigate Dowd for sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact.

Anyone who has not previously provided information about conduct involving Dowd should contact the FBI or U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan, Marquette branch office, at 906-226-2500.

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