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Alleged rape case earns prosecutor’s ire

David Anthony Powell

BY Sarah smith

A man charged with a vicious rape in Park Rapids March 9 posted bond 36 hours after his arraignment last Monday and was re-arrested a day later after he allegedly tried to lure the same victim to a Hastings bar.

David Allen Powell, 45, of Hastings, is back behind bars in Hubbard County on a significantly higher bail after admitting to violating the conditions of his earlier release. He had posted a $1,000 cash bond Tuesday evening.

Defense attorney Jennifer Nelson said her client texted the victim asking where his car was.

“He didn’t understand what no contact was,” Nelson told the court.

Assistant Hubbard County Attorney Erika Randall said Powell sent “several texts that go well beyond” a misunderstanding of his bail conditions.

“The state is very concerned about Mr. Powell’s ability to remain law-abiding,” Randall told Judge Paul Rasmussen in asking for a higher bail.

“These two have had a long-standing relationship,” Nelson countered. “She texted him.”

Nelson said Powell has worked as an inventory liquidator the past 18 months, adding, “we will not have any additional misunderstandings by Mr. Powell.”

Powell was arrested at a Park Rapids motel after the victim and her friend called police about an assault. According to the complaint, the victim suffered serious injuries including cuts and bruises when she resisted Powell’s alleged sexual advances.

Randall said in investigating Powell’s background, her office learned Powell was charged with domestic battery on the same woman in Idaho in December 2012. He eventually pled to a charge of disorderly conduct and was on probation at the time of his arrest in Park Rapids.

A North Carolina charge was dismissed after the victim would not follow through with prosecution, Randall told the court.

Rasmussen set bail at $200,000 unconditional and $150,000 on the condition that Powell be fitted with a GPS locator. The judge also imposed a new “no contact order.”

“It was crystal clear at the arraignment there was no contact,” Rasmussen admonished the defendant.

Powell is charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct, one in the First Degree and one in the Second Degree. The most serious charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine. He also faces charges of Third Degree Assault, which is punishable by a maximum of 5 years and/or a $10,000 fine; and Domestic Assault, which carries a maximum penalty of 90 days and/or a $1,000 fine upon conviction.

His next appearance is March 25.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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