DAWSON — The owner of a basketball academy has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges in South Dakota for alleged sexual contact involving a 12-year-old.
Kendra Joanne Lindblad, 26, of Dawson, appeared Monday in South Dakota's Lincoln County on two felony counts: sexual contact with a child under age 16 and attempted sexual contact with a child under age 16. Court records show Lindblad was released after posting a $5,000 cash bond. She cannot have contact with the alleged victim as a bond condition.
Both charges allege actions involving a 12-year-old child while Lindblad was age 24. The grand jury indictment says the alleged conduct occurred on or between Nov. 1, 2017, and Feb. 28, 2018, in Lincoln County in southeastern South Dakota.
She was indicted Oct. 28 and an arrest warrant was issued. She was arrested Dec. 12 in Madison, Minn., and a felony charge of fugitive from justice from another state was filed against her Dec. 13 in Lac qui Parle County District Court. She was released after posting a $5,000 bond on condition she remain law-abiding and make all future appearances, according to court records.
Lindblad’s attorney Ron Frauenshuh, of Ortonville, said in a news release that Lindblad voluntarily appeared in South Dakota when she discovered there had been charges filed. On Thursday, Lac qui Parle County prosecutors dismissed the fugitive case.
Frauenshuh in the news release called Lindblad a “very cooperative client.” He said it’s an “unfortunate situation and (he) feels confident that she will be found not guilty.”
South Dakota court records show her next appearance there is scheduled March 17.
The sexual contact charge is a Class 3 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine. The attempted sexual contact charge is a Class 4 felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. The original indictment had said both charges with Class 3 felonies, but Frauenshuh said this was clarified on the record Monday.
Lindblad is a graduate of Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota, where she was a well-known basketball player. She serves as an athletic trainer and operates and owns the Redemption Basketball Academy for school-age athletes. The academy operates in the gym that is part of the Dawson Covenant Church south of Dawson.
Additional reporting by Ellen Bardash of the Mitchell, S.D., Daily Republic.