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Published April 27 2012

Casselton woman accused of groping for 'missing' $80 at party charged with sex assault

CASSELTON, N.D. – After a raucous party here in her apartment, a 31-year-old woman is charged with two counts of sexual assault for allegedly groping partygoers – at least one of them a minor – in search of $80 she claimed was stolen.

According to court documents filed Friday in Cass County District Court, sheriff’s deputies responding to a loud party in the early morning hours of Jan. 3 at 132 6th Ave. N. found the party’s host, Tina Joann Haws of Casselton, in tears, intoxicated and bleeding from her right big toe.

Documents describe an even more chaotic scene in Haws’ apartment, where deputies were greeted with one minor claiming she had been punched in the face by her brother and another threatening to kill herself if deputies brought her home.

After separating and interviewing the intoxicated partygoers – most of whom were minors – deputies say the party started after Haws went to work around 8:30 p.m. that night cleaning up at the Cassel Tap Bar, which had recently lost its liquor license and was no longer able to stay open.

Haws let two minors stay in her apartment until she returned about an hour later with four bottles of hard liquor, witnesses said. At that point, she started texting other minors to come over. For three hours, the group drank and played drinking games, according to police reports filed with the criminal charges.

Witnesses told deputies that at some point at the end of the night, Haws declared that someone at the party had stolen $80 from her. She then allegedly proceeded to pat down as many as five minors in search of the money, at times even reaching underneath the underwear of both males and females and groping their genitals, witnesses claimed.

Haws was charged Friday with two counts of sexual assault – one a felony related to a female victim born in 1996, and one a misdemeanor related to a male victim born in 1992.

She was also charged Friday with five counts of delivering alcohol to minors.

Haws has a prior conviction in 1999 for third-degree criminal sexual conduct in Clay County.

In the end, deputies concluded the $80 was where Haws had misplaced it, documents state. The money had not been stolen.