FORT TOTTEN, N.D. — A Fort Totten, N.D., man has been sentenced to 21 years and eight months in federal prison for sexual abuse of an incapacitated person.

Paul Henry Cavanaugh, 55, will serve supervised release for life upon release, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's office.

Cavanaugh was found guilty by a jury on Aug. 14 after a four-day trial, the first federal criminal jury trial held during the coronavirus pandemic. He was sentenced on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Law enforcement began investigating the case in March 2018, when an 18-year-old woman reported that while at Cavanaugh's residence on the Spirit Lake reservation, he gave her alcohol until she fell asleep. When she woke up, she found Cavanaugh forcing her to engage in a sexual act while she was incapacitated, the release stated.

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