Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Ely man gets 25 years in rape and kidnapping case

Keith Vandervort
Posted 5/16/19

ELY - An Ely man has been sentenced to more than 25 years in prison for kidnapping and raping a 15-year-old girl.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Gary Pagliaccetti last week sentenced David Alan …

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Ely man gets 25 years in rape and kidnapping case

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ELY - An Ely man has been sentenced to more than 25 years in prison for kidnapping and raping a 15-year-old girl.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Gary Pagliaccetti last week sentenced David Alan Nielsen, 35, to 177 months for a sexual assault charge and 129 months for kidnapping. He ordered the prison terms to be served consecutively, followed by 10 years of conditional release.

Authorities said Nielsen held a knife to the victim’s throat before repeatedly sexually assaulting her in a gravel pit outside Ely in November 2017. He pleaded guilty last month to felony charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping.

According to the criminal complaint:

Nielsen pulled up to the girl in his Chevrolet Suburban in downtown Ely and offered to drive the girl home after she’d parted ways with a friend at about 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2017. The girl agreed, but he passed her house and told her he was going to “teach her how to drive.”

Nielsen drove the girl to a gravel pit outside town, where he did some doughnuts as the girl told police she sat on his lap. After stopping the vehicle, Nielsen pulled to the top of a mound and told the girl, “let’s watch the sunset.”

Nielsen made the girl kiss him, she told police, then forced her to lie down on the seat. He proceeded to hold a 6-inch, non-folding knife stamped “U.S.” to her throat and told her to “be a good girl,” the complaint said. After putting the knife away, he made the girl take off her clothes, before forcing her to have sex “five or six times.” When it was over, Nielsen drove the girl home and told her he’d kill her if she told anyone, while also threatening her family and friends, according to the report.

Nielsen must serve at least two-thirds of the prison term before he is eligible for supervised release. He is currently incarcerated at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Rush City, with an anticipated release date of November 2034.

Court records indicate that Nielsen has numerous prior convictions in Minnesota, dating back to 2001, including felony crimes of domestic abuse, assault, assault of a police officer, auto theft, drug crimes, driving while intoxicated, and violating protection orders, as well as several misdemeanors.

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