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State corrections officer accused of sexual assault

He reportedly took advantage of a soldier who was unconscious.

WORTHINGTON - A Chaska man known to work or have worked as a corrections officer for the Minnesota Department of Corrections - and have history with the U.S. Army - faces criminal charges for allegedly having non-consensual sex with a woman during a time she was incapacitated due to the amount of alcohol she had consumed.

According to the criminal complaint filed Friday in Nobles County District Court, David Melland-O’Hara, 32, allegedly sexually assaulted a woman at the U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worthington last July. As cited in the criminal complaint, the victim identified him as a sergeant from the Wabasha area, but that could not be confirmed Friday.

A sexual assault test kit was sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which recently revealed a mixture of DNA from two or more individuals likely to belong to the victim and Melland-O’Hara due to the fact that 99.9 percent of the general population could be excluded from the mixture.

The test was ordered July 28 after Worthington police officers responded to a sexual assault call from someone who said they witnessed Melland-O’Hara sexually abusing the woman while she was unconscious.

Upon arrival, the officers spoke to the victim, who was not aware of the extent of what happened. She indicated she was experiencing pain in her groin area, and was taken to Sanford Worthington.

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In a later interview, the woman said the two had been drinking together at a local restaurant. She didn’t recall going to sleep, but woke twice, the first time because she felt pain and the second when the witness asked her if she was OK and wanted him to call authorities.

Melland-O’Hara claimed in an interview with law enforcement that he remembered separating the males and females to opposite sides of the room before bedtime. He told the officer he thought he was asleep, during which he also claimed that he thought he was having sex with his wife. When he “woke up” he recognized to be touching the victim, but over her clothing, he claimed.

He had a blood alcohol content level of .056 percent, the complaint cites.

Melland-O’Hara faces first- through fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, which all account for non-consensual sex with a victim that was helpless at the time. Four of the charges are felony offenses; the other is a gross misdemeanor.

If convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct - the highest offense - Melland-O’Hara could face a maximum of 30 years imprisonment, a $40,000 fine or both.

According to Minnesota Management and Budget’s public compensation report dated Jan. 4 of this year, Melland-O’Hara had been employed as a Minnesota DOC corrections officer. An employment status request was not returned by Friday’s deadline.

No mugshot was available.

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