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Brittany Lawonn, Published April 11 2008

Fargo police seek false reporting charge against woman who claimed she was kidnapped and raped

Authorities are asking prosecutors to charge a 25-year-old Dent, Minn., woman with making a false report to law enforcement after she told police Tuesday she was kidnapped at knifepoint and raped in Fargo.

About 1 a.m. Tuesday, Deborah Lee Monson went to a Fargo MeritCare Hospital emergency room and reported that a man kidnapped her at knifepoint in Moorhead and raped her in Fargo.

Authorities served a search warrant on Joshua J. Kraft later that day and booked him into the Cass County Jail just after noon on suspicion of rape, kidnapping and other charges.

Cherie Clark, an assistant Cass County state’s attorney, said Thursday that Kraft will not be charged with rape or kidnapping because information Fargo police learned about the alleged incident “would make this case difficult to prosecute.”

Fargo police Sgt. Jeff Skuza said Thursday there was enough probable cause to arrest Kraft on Tuesday, but as the investigation progressed “we started looking at evidence, we became less and less enthusiastic about pursuing the kidnapping or sexual assault charge.”

“This false report resulted in a significant expense in manpower, the service of two search warrants and the arrest of the suspect,” Skuza said in a news release Friday.

Police have not released details about the inconsistencies.

The false reporting charge is a Class A misdemeanor. Police recommended the charge in a report sent this morning to the Cass County State’s Attorney’s office.

Kraft, 23, of Fargo, is still facing drug paraphernalia charges stemming from the search warrant, but was released from the Cass County Jail Thursday night.

He told The Forum Thursday he had consensual sex with the woman Tuesday night and he understands police were doing their job by following up on the woman’s report, but said he is upset with Monson and may sue her.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Forum.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Brittany Lawonn at (701) 241-5541