Woman threatened with Narcan in rape

Thursday, September 19, 2019

UPDATE: The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has long supported the use of Narcan in the hands of first responders and regular citizens to save the lives of people in the throes of an opioid overdose. The research is clear that injecting Narcan is safe for the vast majority of people.

However, in the criminal charge against Daniel Ellington, he threatened a woman with Narcan to get her to submit to his sexual assault. The woman is a regular opioid user and she knew that if she was injected with Narcan when she was not overdosing, it could cause her physical harm. That is what made the threat real and why the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office was able to charge Mr. Ellington with first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

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A Minneapolis man was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct using a dangerous weapon, which in this case was a syringe of Narcan, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.

Daniel Ellington, 38, was charged with the single count. He is being held in the Washington County Jail on felony charges related to sex trafficking.

According to the criminal complaint, the Washington County Human Trafficking Task Force was investigating Ellington and seized his cell phone. The phone contained a video taken at a Brooklyn Park residence on March 10.

Early in the video, Ellington has a syringe in his hand and tells a woman there that he will “Narcan” her. The woman, a regular opioid user, knew that if she was injected with Narcan when she was not overdosing, it could cause her physical harm. The criminal complaint notes that Narcan is used to resuscitate people suffering from an opioid overdose. For the vast majority of people injected with Narcan, it is safe. However, it can potentially have negative side effects if it is injected in someone who is not overdosing.

In the video, the woman is crying and telling Ellington to “get away.” He again threatens her with the syringe and sexually assaults her as she repeatedly pleads with him to stop, according to the complaint.

The investigator talked to the victim and she confirmed that was her in the video. She said she saw Ellington draw the Narcan into the syringe and she was cowering in the corner to get away from him and the needle, the complaint states. She said getting injected with that drug would be worse than being beaten.

The woman is also the victim in the sex-trafficking case for which Ellington has been charged in Washington County.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)