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Man and woman charged with sexually assaulting teen

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Sherene Kraft2 / 3
Patrick Alan Leiphon3 / 3

DEVILS LAKE—Two Devils Lake residents have been charged with sexually assaulting an underage teen multiple times at different locations in Ramsey County, charging documents say.

Patrick Alan Leiphon, 51, and Sherene A. Kraft, 50, are set to appear Monday, July 9, in Ramsey County District Court in North Dakota on five charges each of gross sexual imposition, all of which are Class A felonies.

The two were arrested late last month after investigators said they were involved in the sexual assault of a teenager who is younger than 18 years old and is mentally impaired, according to court documents.

Charges detail at least five sexual assaults that allegedly took place between December and March in various parts of Ramsey County. During each incident, Kraft, who also is from Devils Lake, drove the teen to meet up with Leiphon, according to court documents. Once there, Leiphon would "engage in a sexual act" with the girl.

Court documents also say Kraft drove the girl to the locations "for the purpose of allowing a 51-year-old man to engage in a sexual act with a minor."

Leiphon is not named in Kraft's criminal complaint, but his criminal complaint lays out the same charges and details written in Kraft's.

The sexual assaults allegedly happened at a rural farm near Garske, N.D., a location near Penn, N.D., and in Devils Lake, according to court documents.

Each Class A felony carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.

It's unclear how Leiphon and Kraft know each other or how they came to know the teenager.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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