Former U of M student pleads guilty to raping two women
Daniel Drill-Mellum pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and was immediately sentenced to 74 months in prison Tuesday afternoon.
Even after he gets out of prison, he will be on conditional release for life, meaning that he will have to check in regularly with a probation officer for the rest of his life. He also has to register as a sexual offender.
Drill-Mellum was arrested in late December when his plane touched down at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as he was returning home from Australia. He had been out on bail most of the time since then, but agreed to plead guilty Tuesday and be sentenced at the same time.
“We are pleased with the guilty plea of Mr. Drill-Mellum,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “He deserves the prison time he has received and I hope the treatment for sex offenders that he already has begun is successful and he will not be a threat to the women of our community. I have made it clear that I find any violence towards women personally offensive and our prosecutors worked tirelessly to bring justice for Mr. Drill-Mellum’s victims.”
Before his sentence, the two women he raped spoke out as part of their victim impact statement.
“After the rape, I couldn’t sleep for weeks,” one of the victims said. “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. My mom got me a Taser, which I held in my hands even when I finally did fall asleep.”
In the first reported case, the woman was at a party with friends near the University of Minnesota campus on University Avenue Southeast on Nov. 7, 2014. Drill-Mellum was one of the people at the party and she had been introduced to him. Around midnight, he asked her to go with him to his apartment across the street to bring back more alcohol. Once at the apartment, he raped her and when she finally was able to flee, she was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Months later, another woman reported that on Oct. 31, 2014, she was at a party at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house near the University of Minnesota campus where she met Drill-Mellum. He led her into the laundry room, where they were kissing. He then started pulling down her underwear and despite her protests and resistance, he pushed her to the floor and raped her.
Before his sentencing, Drill-Mellum apologized to his victims and promised he would never do it again.