ND National Guardsman sexually assaulted subordinate, court documents say
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A North Dakota Air National Guardsman is accused of coercing another member of the guard to have sex with him in Nov. 2019.
45-year-old Erik Clemenson is charged with one felony count of sexual imposition by force or coercion.
Court documents say the victim told officers she went out with other members of her work group on the night of Nov. 7. She said most of the group was drinking, but she was not because she was underage.
The victim stated Clemenson was slurring his words and having trouble walking, and later asked the victim if he could sleep on her couch because he was too intoxicated to drive. The victim said once at her apartment, she showed Clemenson where the couch was and went to bed, but says after using the bathroom, Clemenson came directly to her bed stating he would not sleep on the couch. The victim told officer that she told Clemenson ‘no’ multiple times, however Clemenson got in bed with her and began putting his hands underneath her shirt.
The victim told officers she told Clemenson ‘no’ many more times, and said each time Clemenson would momentarily stop touching her, but would soon resume. The victim says Clemenson made her touch his genitals, before taking off both his clothes and the victim’s. The victim says she froze as Clemenson raped her for about 10 minutes.
When investigators interviewed Clemenson in early September 2020, Clemenson told officers he had arranged a ride home with another co-worker, but said they had left without him. However, when officers interviewed that co-worker, he told officers he tried getting Clemenson to leave with him many times, but Clemenson refused.
Documents say in his first interview with officers, Clemenson told officers nothing sexual had occurred, before later admitted intercourse happened, but said it was consensual and that the victim never told him no. Clemenson also stated he thought there was an understanding that he and the victim were going to move on from the situation.
In a statement, the North Dakota National Guard says:
“The North Dakota Air National Guard (NDANG) takes allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously. The 119th Wing is aware that Erik Clemenson has been charged by the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office. The 119th Wing can confirm that Clemenson is a member of the unit. The NDANG will continue to actively monitor the case as it proceeds through the civilian criminal justice system.”
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