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Jackson man charged in Iowa theft


A Jackson man made his first appearance Tuesday in Nobles County District Court on charges related to a Doon, Iowa incident allegedly involving theft, burglary, fleeing a peace officer and an intimate relationship with an underaged person.

According to the redacted criminal complaint, Rodney D. Ellis, 24, was arrested May 19 after a short foot pursuit from law enforcement after the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office began investigating a reported theft from a Doon residence. An individual who claimed to have witnessed Ellis and a juvenile female enter the complainant’s home said he believed the couple had been staying in a nearby abandoned residence. After a sheriff’s deputy discovered evidence that supported someone had been staying in the abandoned home, he witnessed Ellis running from the property into the trees.

In a post-arrest interview, Ellis told the deputy that he had been staying in the abandoned home because he was homeless. He said a juvenile female stayed with him. He had previously been welcomed into the juvenile’s home by her mother, he said.

Ellis admitted to law enforcement that he and the female had been in the complainant’s Doon residence, where he showered, took food and clothing and drank from the owner’s drinking glasses. A small amount of marijuana was allegedly discovered on his person upon arrest, the complaint states.

Ellis has been charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, second-degree burglary and introducing contraband into jail, all felonies; fifth-degree drug possession, a gross misdemeanor; and fleeing a peace officer by means other than a motor vehicle and trespassing, both misdemeanors. While the criminal complaint redacts the age of the female, the charges indicate she was younger than 16, the Minnesota age of consent..

The criminal sexual conduct charges — the most serious of the pending charges — are punishable up to 30 years imprisonment, a $40,000 fine or both.

A review of his criminal record indicates he was required to register as a predatory offender on the basis of a sex offense in Illinois. His conditional bail was set at $100,000 and unconditional bail at $250,000.