Estherville PD locates sexual assault suspect

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Estherville Police Department called off a brief search and took a Dickinson County man into custody on charges of third-degree sexual abuse.

The search for David Michael Clinton of Superior began Thursday as authorities tried to issue an arrest warrant for the 24-year-old.

"Mr. Clinton was less-than cooperative when we asked him to come in and appear on his warrants or it appeared that he wasn't cooperative," Estherville Police Chief Brent Shatto said. "He wasn't willing to come in here. He was advised that he had warrants for his arrest and chose not to present himself. After some thought and looking at our options, we decided to post the information on Facebook and point out to the media that we were looking for some assistance in locating David. It worked. Social media has its moments."

The information was released Thursday, and Clinton turned himself in less than 24 hours later at the Emmet County Law Enforcement Center. He faces two counts of third-degree sexual abuse and two counts of providing alcohol to minors. The first sexual abuse charge involves June 23 contact with a teenager from Milford at a West Second Street South residence in Estherville.

He faces the second sexual abuse charge for contact with an 18-year-old Milford teenager at about 6 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, in the 400 block of West Fifth Avenue North in Estherville. He supplied alcohol to a 17-year-old Milford girl as part of the same incident. Shatto said lab results from the June case helped the Estherville Police Department move forward with charges surrounding both suspected assaults.

As part of the June and November charges, Clinton is accused of performing a sex act while the victim was "mentally incapacitated, physically incapacitated or physically helpless." Shatto believes Clinton and the teenagers knew each other, but doesn't know why they were together in his jurisdiction.

"There was no 'he drugged somebody or got them drunk' none of that," Shatto said. "It was more of a non-consensual act a physical act between two people, and one didn't consent to it."

Clinton also has a third-degree sexual abuse charge pending in Dickinson County, stemming from possible May 6 assault at a machine shed along Keokuk Avenue in Spirit Lake.

Spirit Lake Police suspect Clinton "did have sexual contact with the victim in this case against the will of the victim, causing physical injury to the victim," according to a criminal complaint filed at the Dickinson County Courthouse. He also faces domestic abuse assault charges for choking or trying to smother the victim. He faces a second-offense domestic abuse assault charge stemming from the May investigation as well.

Clinton filed a written arraignment and plea of not guilty May 23 in Dickinson County. His Dickinson County trial is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, in Spirit Lake.

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