A Chisholm man faces a felony criminal sexual conduct charge in connection with an alleged rape at a local nursing facility.

According to a criminal complaint filed on July 1 in State District Court in Duluth, Travis Michael Jensen, 24, is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving force or coercion. If convicted, he would face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine.

According to the complaint, Chisholm police responded to a call just after 7 p.m. June 17 at Hillcrest Terrace of Chisholm, an assisted-living facility. They spoke with a woman, identified only by initial letters in the complaint, who seemed to be trying to hide behind a door and appeared frightened. When they asked if the woman was injured, she said the inside of her legs hurt, and one of the officers observed red marks along with scrapes and bruising.

When questioned, she said she had been sitting on her bed when Jensen approached her with his pants down and forced himself upon her. When she refused his commands, he grabbed a hard object from her bedside stand and began hitting her legs with it while pulling off her clothing. Although she repeatedly said “no,” he achieved sexual penetration, the complaint said.

According to court records, Jensen failed to appear for a hearing on July 29, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The News Tribune reported earlier this week that a state investigator issued a finding of neglect against the facility where the alleged sexual assault took place. Range Development Co., which owns Hillcrest Terrace of Chisholm, is appealing that finding.

The report by the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Health Facility Complaints didn’t include names of anyone involved in the alleged incident. Both Jensen and the woman were Hillcrest Terrace residents and had gone out twice earlier that day in her car to purchase alcoholic beverages, according to the state investigator's report.

Although the criminal charge has been filed, the case remains under investigation, said Jessica Fralich, Range division head for the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office. She said she could offer no further comment.

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