Five Minnesotans Accused of Torturing, Abusing Foster Child
Bemidji, MN (KROC-AM News)- The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota announced indictments against five members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians in connection with a child torture and abuse investigation.
U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Lugar announced the indictments on Monday. Court documents say the torture and abuse occurred between January 1, 2022 and April 29, 2022.
49-year-old Trina Johnson is identified as the legal guardian of the foster child and is accused of directing the torture, endangerment, abuse and neglect of the child. Lugar said the abuse included withholding food from the child to the point of starvation, forcing the child to stand in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time and other abuses.
Johnson is charged with with one count of child torture, one count of child neglect—deprivation of food and health care, one count of child endangerment and one count of assault on a minor with a dangerous weapon. Lugar says the child suffered "serious and substantial physical, mental and emotional harm."
Court documents say 42-year-old Bertram Calvin Lussier, Jr. and Johnson’s three sisters, 44-year-old Bobbi Jo Johnson, 47-year-old Ellie Mae Johnson and 39-year-old Patricia Ann Johnson, aided and abetted in the abuse and neglect. Each of them were charged with one count of child neglect—deprivation of food and health care and one count of child endangerment.
Tina, Bobbi, Patricia and Lussier made their first court appearances in the case on January 27, while Ellie is due to appear in front of a judge at a later time. The FBI and Red Lake Tribal Police Department led the abuse investigation.