Local stories bring recognition to Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Lindsey Gau (left) and Martha Finley

Local stories bring recognition to Sexual Assault Awareness Month

In February 2022, a Minnesota man was sentenced to four years in prison for sexually assaulting a Cook County woman at a condominium on Ski Hill Road in Lutsen.

Andrew Knott, 31, of Owatonna, was sentenced last year in the Cook County Courthouse in Grand Marais.

According to the criminal complaint, on Jan. 25, 2020, Cook County law enforcement responded to North Shore Health, the local hospital in Grand Marais, where a woman being treated for medical issues reported that she was sexually assaulted. The woman told medical personnel and law enforcement she had been raped.

The woman who is a victim of the crime described above is a resident of Cook County. Her name is Martha Finley. She shared some of her story during a recent candlelight vigil in the Grand Marais Recreation Park that was hosted by the Violence Prevention Center (VPC). The roots of the Violence Prevent Center in Grand Marais trace back to the mid-80s. It was created in is to foster a community which cultivates healthy relationships and empowers systems to serve individuals with equity and compassion. The VPC is Grand Marais is here to serve all who have been affected by, or are subjected to domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, according to the organization’s mission statement.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. During an event at the recreation park in Grand Marais on April 19, community members gathered in support of those who are impacted by sexual violence in Cook County. The event was hosted by the VPC.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with VPC Director Lindsey Gau and community member Martha Finley following the event. Also included in the conversation is KathyAnn Travis, the victim witness coordinator for the Cook County Attorney’s Office. Audio below.