A former University of Minnesota student is charged with raping two young women soon after meeting them at college parties on back-to-back weekends.
Daniel Drill-Mellum, 22, of Waconia, appeared in Hennepin County District Court on Monday afternoon in connection with attacks alleged to have happened last year at his off-campus apartment near the U and in a fraternity laundry room.
University police arrested Drill-Mellum on Christmas Eve, and he remained in Hennepin County jail until posting bond early Thursday evening. He was charged that same day with first-, second- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct in one case and first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct in the other case.
The arrest was made by police on an airliner upon its arrival from Los Angeles early Thursday evening at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, an airport spokesman said. A law enforcement source said Drill-Mellum was returning from Australia, where he was working, to be a groomsman in his sister’s wedding shortly after the new year.
“It was a surprise to everyone that the police boarded the plane and arrested him,” said Drill-Mellum’s attorney, Debbie Lang, who added that her client was also attending school in Australia.
As for the allegations, Lang said, “Certainly, we will be contesting the charges.” She pointed out that prosecutors had initially declined to file charges soon after the second alleged rape and his arrest at that time. Lang said she’s interested in learning what prompted the county attorney’s office to change course.
Drill-Mellum attended the U from fall 2012 through fall 2014. He was enrolled in the Carlson School of Management. His father, Richard, is a lecturer with the university’s school of public health.
While a member of the Minnesota Student Association, Daniel Drill-Mellum testified in early 2013 before a state legislative committee in favor of legal immunity for underage drinkers seeking medical care, a measure that became law.
At Chaska High School, Drill-Mellum was involved in DECA, an international club that prepares students for careers in business. He was elected Minnesota DECA’s president in 2011 at the start of his senior year.
He was an intern for the office of Gov. Mark Dayton in the Legislative and Cabinet Affairs Department from January 2011 until May 2012. He also interned for Sen. Al Franken during the summer of 2013.
The criminal complaints
According to the criminal complaints, a U student told police that she met Drill-Mellum during a Halloween party in 2014 at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house. He led the 18-year-old to a laundry room, where they began kissing.
Drill-Mellum ignored her pleas that he go no further and raped her. “I know you want this,” he said, according to the complaint.
The student went to the University of Minnesota Medical Center and reported the rape by a man whose name she did not know at the time, the complaint said, but she declined to go to police.
Over the next year, the student suffered from anxiety and panic attacks and sought counseling, the complaint said. She eventually learned the name of her alleged attacker and reported her case to campus police this October after learning that he had been banned from the U campus for a sexual assault that followed hers.
In the later assault, a 19-year-old woman said she met “Dan” on Nov. 8, 2014, at an apartment party in the 1000 block of University Avenue SE. The complaint said they went across the street to his apartment to get more liquor.
Drill-Mellum and the woman began kissing, but when he tried to take off her clothes she told him to stop, the complaint said. He asked her for sex, but she said no and wanted to return to the party. Instead, he raped her.
After he let her go, the woman fled, called 911 and was taken by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center, the complaint said. She had injuries consistent with rape.