From the October 2003 President's Advisory Council on Women and Staff at the University of North Dakota
|Reference: Grand Forks
Herald, March 2, 1999
UND STUDENT CHARGED WITH RAPE, BURGLARY
A UND student has been charged with breaking into a woman's south Grand Forks residence and sexually assaulting her there.
Daniel John Preston, 28, 510 Tulane Drive No. 105 Grand Forks, was arrested Friday after police executed a search warrant on his home and a vehicle registered in his name. He was charged with gross sexual imposition, burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia as a result of the search.
|Reference: Grand Forks
Herald March 24, 1999
WOMAN SUES POLICE WHO DIDN'T BELIEVE RAPE REPORT
UNIVERSITY STUDENT SAYS OFFICIALS LAUGHED AT HER BEFORE RAPIST CONFESSED
After she called 911 in November to report that she had been raped, Jennifer W. says, police laughed at her, called her a liar and warned her she would have to pay for the lab tests if the results came back negative.
Finally, last week, the man she accused pleaded guilty to raping her. And he also admitted raping a teen-age girl more recently.
Wednesday, January 19, 2000
Former UND student sentenced on rape and burglary charges
Herald Staff Writer
A former UND nursing student who broke into a woman's south Grand Forks residence and raped her at gunpoint last year was sentenced to prison Tuesday in Grand Forks District Court.
Daniel John Preston, 28, Grand Forks, was sentenced to eight years in prison followed by 12 years of supervised probation for gross sexual imposition, burglary, theft of property, sexual assault and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also was ordered to pay $1,347 to the victim's family for medical expenses.
Preston was arrested after a 20-year-old woman told police she had been raped.
Police said Preston broke into the victim's apartment on Jan. 15, armed with a stolen revolver and wearing a black ski mask. The victim said Preston also carried duct tape and lubricant jelly. According to police, Preston forced her into a physically defenseless position and raped her.
Preston did not know the victim well, police said, but he did know the victim's former female roommate, with whom he had served in the North Dakota National Guard.
Preston admitted in court Tuesday that he had entered the women's residence on four occasions while the victim's former roommate slept. Preston apparently used a door key, which he had reproduced without permission, to enter the home undetected.
"Do you know how sick this is?" Judge Debbie Kleven asked Preston in court before sentencing him to prison.
Preston apparently told a psychologist that having the door key helped him feel closer to the women. "It gave me an edge," he said.
"I just wanted to see (the victim)," Preston said in court. ". . . She was so beautiful . . . I knew it was wrong."
Since posting bond on March 3, Preston has been free, living with his wife and young daughter in Grand Forks.
According to the UND registrar's office, Preston withdrew from the College of Nursing in March.
Preston came to North Dakota from Massachusetts in the early 1990s when he joined the Air Force. After being honorably discharged in 1995, he immediately enrolled at UND and pursued a degree in nursing. Preston originally denied the rape charges, but changed his plea to guilty in December in the face of overwhelming evidence against him, prosecutors said.
"I'm very, very sorry for the pain I've caused," he said in court Tuesday. "I never wanted to hurt anybody."
Kleven said she is worried Preston will hurt other women when he is released from prison.
"I think you are a danger," she told him. "I'm worried that you'll do your time and quickly target another victim."
Kleven said she reluctantly accepted the plea agreement that sent Preston to prison for eight years. She told Preston he probably should have gotten at least 12 years in prison for the crimes he had committed, and she plans to resist any attempts to parole Preston before he successfully completes sex offender treatment.
Because Preston used a weapon during the assault a stolen Black Hawk revolver he must serve a minimum prison sentence of four years before he is considered for parole.
A friend of the victim made an emotional statement in court before the sentencing.
"(The victim) has severe rape trauma syndrome, and has lived a life of fear and suffering for more than a year," she said. "Today is a day of healing and justice . . . After today (she) will be free."
Former Grand Forks Police Chief Chet Paschke, a relative of the victim, also made an emotional plea in court. Paschke looked directly at Preston and asked him to imagine himself as the victim.
"It was a senseless, brutal crime," he told Preston. ". . . What you did . . . will not be forgotten."
Preston's attorney, Kevin Spaeth, said Preston is remorseful.
"He is sorry for what he did," Spaeth said. "He knows it was wrong."
Preston was charged with possession of drug
phernalia when police found two marijuana pipes in his pickup while executing a search warrant. He was charged with a se
te sexual assault after a female UND nursing student told police that Preston had lifted her shirt and touched her breast area in 1997. She told police about the assault after the other charges were made public.
Preston was also convicted of second-degree burglary and felony theft for stealing $1,600 worth of Beanie Babies -- small stuffed animals -- from an East Grand Forks residence in 1999. All of his sentences will be served concurrently at the North Dakota State Penitentiary.
12/21/1999, GRAND FORKS HERALD
RAPE SUSPECT PLEADS GUILTY
The man accused of raping a 20-year-old Grand Forks woman in January changed his plea to guilty Friday in Grand Forks District Court.
Daniel Preston, 28, 510 Tulane Drive No. 105, pleaded guilty to gross sexual imposition and burglary, and faces up to 20 years in prison.
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01/19/2000, GRAND FORKS HERALD
Northscape / Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald - All
Reference: Grand Forks Herald March 15, 1995
GF LEGISLATOR SAYS UNIVERSITIES SHOULD ADOPT TOUGHER POLICIES ON SEXUAL ASSAULT
A Grand Forks representative says North Dakota's colleges and universities have done too little to publicize the dangers of acquaintance rape and lack formal procedures to deal with the problem.
But top administrators with UND and NDSU testified before the Senate Education Committee Tuesday that the schools have extensive policies for handling sexual assaults.
Reference: Grand Forks Herald, September 10, 1995
DATE RAPE - IT COULD
HAPPEN TO YOU
`SOMEONE YOU KNOW'
If you are raped, chances are the person who sexually assaults you or someone you know also will be an acquaintance of yours.
UND Women's Center coordinator Donna Oltmanns, a counselor and former director of the local Abuse and Rape Crisis Center , said more than 80 percent of all rapes in North Dakota are committed by someone the victim knows.
Reference: Grand Forks Herald, October 14, 1995
ONE IN SIX COLLEGE WOMEN HAVE BEEN ASSAULTED, NEW STUDY SAYS
Women students report being sexually assaulted more often before entering North Dakota colleges than during their college years, a survey publicized by anti-violence activists concludes.
The survey of 11 North Dakota colleges also concludes that alcohol is involved in 73 percent of all college rapes, for both the victim and assailant.
Grand Forks Herald, May 19, 1991, By Kathryn Sweney, Herald Staff Writer
RAPE: SILENT VICTIMS
HELP AVAILABLE AT UND, BUT MYTHS, FEAR OF INACTION PREVAIL
UND women -- possibly hundreds -- are raped each year according to those who assist victims. Almost none are reported. Nancy Nienhuis, director of the Women's Center, said from her experience working with students, she is convinced there were literally hundreds of rapes on campus last year. For example, no rapes were reported to UND police for the 1989-90 academic year. During the 1990-91 year one rape and one attempted rape were reported to UND police. A third woman reported a rape and then decided not to press charges. Chief Diane Czapiewski said. After being in counseling, a fourth woman reported a rape that had occurred months before. Similarly on six rape were reported for the city police in 1990. But 83 rapes were reported to the Abuse and Rape Crisis Center in 1990, according to Beth Benson director of the center. Thirty sexual assault victims came into the center between January and April, she said. Nationally estimates are that only one in 10 rapes are reported said Lilian Elsinga, UND dean she would guess that the numbers in Grand Forks are very similar. "I don't think we touch the tip of the iceberg," Benson said
"If there are so many rapes why are so few reported." There are many answers. Some people put the blame on social attitudes that still regard rape as a sexual act rather than an act of violence. Others say that blaming the victim or unresponsive attitudes from officials or friends and family are part of the problem. Still other say that the difficulty of getting a conviction discourages people from reporting.
Part of the problem at UND, Nienhuis said, is that often young women believe some of the myths about rape, myths like. "You can't be raped by someone you know." Often a woman may not realize how much impact a rape has until long after the event, she said. One of the most prevalent myths about rape is that the rapist is usually a stranger. However, in truth a woman is much more likely to be raped by someone she knows. National statistics indicate that women know their assailants 60 percent to 70 percent of the time. On college campuses women know their assailant 80 percent to 90 percent the time. When a woman knows her assailant her first reaction is often not anger but self-blame. Nienhuis said. She'll think. "What did I do?" I shouldn't have gone out with someone I didn't know that well." I shouldn't have gone to that party." I shouldn't worn that." I shouldn't have been drinking." Part of the healing is to place the blame where it belongs, on the rapist, not the woman who was raped, Nienhuis said.
Even if a woman thinks she doesn't want to press charges, she should report it to police and go through the medical exam because that preserves the evidence, UND Police Chief Czapiewski said. Also, if police know, they can increase patrols in an area, and can let the public know what happened, said.
The crisis team makes referrals and encourages women to report assaults, said Kathy Fick, campus minister at Christus Rex. UND Police are very aggressive at trying to find assailants, she said. "I've been suprised. It feels a little different than you might expect from a state institution."
There have been changes in people's attitudes about rape. Friends used to be horrified and shocked when a woman talked about rape, further traumatizing the woman, Fick said. Now, friends are more likely to offer emotional support and encourage the woman to report it. "I'm sensing that more people are willing to come forward," Dean Elsinga said. Rape is unbelievable to many people, and there is often a lot of self-blame and sometimes family members blame victims also, she said. But there has been a lot of education about the topic of abuse and the more supportive atmosphere lessens the trauma and encourages women to report. A change in the Code of Student Life should help women students, Elsinga said. Students felt that where there had been an assault the victim should not have to be in a class with the assaulter. As a result, the assaulter would be asked to leave campus until the person who has assaulted had completed the degree. Another charge also helps students who want to report a rape. Before, a woman who want to report a rape must appear before a committee of about 10 people and tell her story, Elsinga said. Students want to make that process less intimidating by reducing the number of people who would be present.
Additionally, Congress is considering major legislation dealing with rape and spouse abuse. The "Violence Against Women Act," sponsored by Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware and 25 co-sponsors was heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee in April. The committee may act on the legislation at its meeting this Thursday.
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