Former University student pleads guilty to two rapes

Daniel Drill-Mellum was sentenced Tuesday to 74 months in prison for two sexual assaults in 2014.

Jessie Bekker

Former University of Minnesota student Daniel Drill-Mellum was sentenced to more than six years in prison after he pleaded guilty in Hennepin County District Court last week to raping two women he met at separate college parties.

Drill-Mellum, who was convicted of two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, was sentenced to 74 months in prison. He will also have to register as a sex offender and check in with a probation officer for the rest of his life, according to a Hennepin County Attorney’s Office press release.

He is currently incarcerated at the St. Cloud Prison.

“We are pleased with the guilty plea of Mr. Drill-Mellum,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman in the release. “He deserves the prison time he has received.”

Drill-Mellum also voluntarily entered an in-patient sex offender treatment program, his attorney, Debbie Lang said in an emailed statement Tuesday

The attacks occurred on back-to-back weekends at a fraternity and in his off-campus apartment in the fall of 2014. He was arrested and charged at the end of 2015.

The victim-survivors appeared in court Tuesday, detailing their accounts of the rapes and their experiences that followed.

“I might feel 10 years older than most of my peers, but I feel accomplished,” one victim said in her statement. “I survived, and lived to see him admit his guilt.”

“After the rape, I couldn’t sleep for weeks,” she contined. “I stayed up, rocking back and forth in my bed all night with the lights on and barricaded the door to my bedroom with my desk chair because I was so afraid. Every time I did fall asleep, I had nightmares in which Mr. Drill-Mellum was raping me and I couldn’t scream no matter how hard I tried.”

Drill-Mellum was suspended by the University for 10 years and was banned from campus for five for a sexual assault that occurred on the same day as the second rape, according to University sexual misconduct data.

Lang wrote in her statement that Drill-Mellum is remorseful for his actions.

“[Drill-Mellum] accepted responsibility for his actions, fully understanding what the consequences would be … he acknowledged his behavior and the impact it has had on others. These are the first steps towards rehabilitation and insuring that this conduct will not occur again … [Drill-Mellum] and his family pray for healing for the women, their families and everyone affected by this situation,” the statement said.

Drill-Mellum attended the University’s Carlson School of Management from the fall of 2012 through the fall of 2014, during which he was a member of the Minnesota Student Association and worked to pass state legislation to provide legal immunity for underage drinkers seeking medical care. His father, Richard Drill-Mellum, is a Carlson School lecturer.

Drill-Mellum’s LinkedIn profile in 2015 listed internships with Gov. Mark Dayton’s office and Democratic Minnesota Senator Al Franken’s office. His profile has since been deleted.

Drill-Mellum was living outside the U.S. and was arrested in 2014 on Christmas Eve of 2014 when his flight from Australia landed at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to a 2015 press release from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

According to the criminal complaints:

Drill-Mellum, 22, of Waconia, became involved with an 18-year-old woman at a 2014 Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity Halloween party, where the two began kissing in a laundry room at the house.

The victim objected when Drill-Mellum put his hand up her shirt and reached up her dress, pulling down her underwear. He then slammed her head against a wall and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

He pushed her to the ground and raped the victim, repeatedly telling her “I know you want this,” and “you’re so turned on right now.”

The victim reported the assault to the University of Minnesota Medical Center the next day and to University police in November 2015.

The second rape, one week after the first on Nov. 8, 2014, occurred at Drill-Mellum’s off-campus apartment after he convinced the victim to accompany him to retrieve alcohol.

The two began kissing once inside, but the victim told him “no” when Drill-Mellum attempted to remove her clothes.

She performed oral sex on him in exchange for returning to the party, but he held her down on his bed and raped her while she cried and pleaded for Drill-Mellum to stop.

The victim reported the assault to police and was transported by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center, where a sexual assault exam noted abrasions and lacerations to her chin, thigh, hip, knee and nipples.