Man charged with human trafficking in the Oil Patch
WILLISTON, N.D. — A judge here set bond at $2 million Friday for a 38-year-old man charged with human trafficking and several other offenses for allegedly forcing women to engage in sexual conduct.
Williston police arrested Keith A. Graves, a sex offender from California, on Wednesday at the Grand International Inn in Williston, police said.
Graves is charged in Northwest Judicial District Court with human trafficking, a Class A felony, for allegedly promoting, recruiting and/or harboring women and causing them to engage in sex acts between July 25 and Tuesday.
During a bond hearing Friday, Assistant Williams County State’s Attorney Seymour Jordan said the charges involve three victims.
Williston Police Detective Amber Dickerson said the victims are adults and are believed to be from out of state.
Graves said during the hearing he has been living and working in Williston for the past 1 1/2 years.
Graves also is charged with two Class AA felony counts of gross sexual imposition for allegedly forcing “Jane Doe” to perform oral sex through force or threat of serious bodily injury earlier this week in Williston.
Those charges each carry a minimum mandatory sentence of 20 years in prison.
He also is charged with one count each of promoting prostitution, felonious restraint, terrorizing and reckless endangerment, all Class C felonies, and simple assault, a Class B misdemeanor.
The complaints say Graves restrained a woman while causing another individual to inject what police believe was narcotics into her arm. Court documents also say Graves held a gun to a woman’s head and struck a woman in the face with the backside of his hand.
In addition, Graves is charged with a Class A felony count of gross sexual imposition, for allegedly having sex with a woman while she was unaware the act was taking place, the complaint says.
Graves also is charged with possessing drug paraphernalia related to methamphetamine and possessing less than a half ounce of marijuana.
Graves is required to register as a sex offender for a 1999 conviction in Los Angeles of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old. He also had a conviction as in juvenile court in Los Angeles in 1990 for sexual battery, according to the North Dakota sex offender website.
Jordan requested bond be set at $2 million, citing the severity of the charges and the 1999 conviction.
Graves, who was not asked to enter a plea during Friday’s hearing, said he was not guilty of the charges and said he planned to apply for a public defender.