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North Dakota woman who brought raccoon into bar facing charges

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Posted at 12:52 PM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 15:52:33-04

Authorities in North Dakota say the woman who brought a raccoon into a bar earlier this month has now been charged.

The Benson County Sheriff's Office announced in a press release last week that they arrested Erin Christensen, 38, of Maddock, on Sept. 14 after they served search warrants in and around the town.

On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that Christensen was charged with misdemeanor counts of providing false information to law enforcement, tampering with physical evidence, and unlawful possession of furbearers.

Christensen is accused of bringing the wild animal into a local bar on Sept. 6, prompting state health officials to issue a rabies warning, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

A bartender told the newspaper that Christensen showed the animal off to customers, adding that it did not bite anyone.

The woman said her family found the animal, which they later named Rocky, about three months ago on the side of a road, the Associated Press reported.

She said they were attempting to nurse it back to health before releasing back into the wild, the news outlet reported.

The sheriff's office said the animal, which is illegal to keep under North Dakota Board of Animal Health laws, was euthanized and tested for rabies.

The Associated Press reported that the animal tested negative for rabies.

According to the news outlet, Christensen is set to appear in court on Monday.

If convicted, she faces about two years in jail and could be fined $7,500, the Associated Press reported.