2014 University of Minnesota rape case

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The 2014 University of Minnesota rape case was a highly mediatized case involving Daniel "Dan" York Drill-Mellum, a student of University of Minnesota and fraternity member of Sigma Phi Epsilon. Drill-Mellum violently raped 19-year-old Abby Honold twice at his apartment in November 2014. He left claw marks on her body, bit chunks of her breasts, and shoved his fist so far into her mouth that he tore open part of her tongue during the attack.[1] After escaping, she immediately went to the hospital where a nurse described Honold's injuries as some of the worst she'd ever seen.[2] The case received ongoing coverage in the media after Honold came forward and talked about how initially authorities did not press charges.[3]

Drill-Mellum had been arrested on Christmas Eve 2015 in relation to Honold's allegations from 2014.[4] He was released after his fraternity brothers secretly recorded a five-minute phone call with Honold. During the call, she stated twice that Drill-Mellum had raped her and detailed her injuries. But when Drill-Mellum's roommate asked her, "did you guys have consensual sex?”, he mumbled the word to make it sound like "actual sex." Honold responded "yes" and police dropped the charges.[5] In 2016 Drill-Mellum was arrested again[6] after Kevin Randolph, a veteran of the University of Minnesota's police department, reviewed the recording and successfully re-opened the case.[7] Drill-Mellum was tried for the rape of Honold and another victim he raped on Halloween 2014.[8] On August 31, 2016, he was sentenced to a 74-months in prison following a guilty plea on two counts of rape.[9]

In November 2016, an episode of the Dr. Phil Show was aired about the case.[10] In April 2017, Investigation Discovery paired with deadline host Tamron Hill and aired an episode about the case.[11]

After the case concluded, Honold contacted the office of Sen. Al Franken to set up a meeting on a bill that would help law enforcement improve the reporting process for future victims. The bill seeks to establish federal funding for the purpose of training officers and first responders on the most effective techniques to use when interviewing sexual assault victims. Educating law enforcement officials and investigators on proper techniques is a key component of the legislation, which is tentatively named The Abby Honold Bill.[12]

In November 2017, after Sen. Al Franken was accused of sexual misconduct, Honold sought out a new sponsor for the bill. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar's office promptly picked up the sponsor, and will be working with Honold moving forward.[13]


  1. ^ "Frat boy convicted of 2 rapes after being caught on Christmas Eve". crimewatch. Retrieved 2017-10-11. 
  2. ^ ""He Accused Me Of Just Regretting Some 'Rough Sex'": Rape Survivor Abby Honold - CrimeFeed". CrimeFeed. 2017-04-28. Retrieved 2017-10-11. 
  3. ^ Stahl, Brandon (23 October 2016). "After Authorities Did Not Charge her Rapist U Student Fought Back". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Abby Honold did everything a rape victim was supposed to do. At first, that wasn't enough. 
  4. ^ "Former Univ. of Minn. student charged in sexual assaults". CBSnews.Com. 29 December 2015. Daniel York Drill-Mellum was arrested on Christmas Eve, according to the station. The 22-year-old faces five felony counts of criminal sexual conduct in connection with the alleged 2014 incidents. 
  5. ^ "After authorities did not charge her rapist, U student fought back". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  6. ^ "Daniel Drill-mellum of Hennepin County questioned on August 30". Minnesota Daily Times. 30 August 2016. Daniel Drill-mellum was arrested August 30, 2016 in Hennepin County according to recently examined public records. 
  7. ^ "After authorities did not charge her rapist, U student fought back". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  8. ^ ""He Accused Me Of Just Regretting Some 'Rough Sex'": Rape Survivor Abby Honold - CrimeFeed". CrimeFeed. 2017-04-28. Retrieved 2017-10-11. 
  9. ^ Mei, Gina (1 September 2016). "Former University of Minnesota Frat Brother Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison for Rape". Cosmopolitan. A former student and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brother at the University of Minnesota was sentenced to 74 months in prison Wednesday 
  10. ^ "The College Student, The Frat Boy and The Football Tailgate Party That Ended In Rape: The Exclusive Interview". DrPhil.Com. 7 November 2016. Daniel Drill-Mellum, a fraternity member 
  11. ^ "Investigation Discovery Teams With "Deadline: Crime" Host Tamron Hall For Explosive New Special "Sexual Assault In College: Tamron Hall Investigates" – Discovery Communications, Inc". corporate.discovery.com. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  12. ^ "Sexual Assault Survivor Leads Charge On New Police Training". 2017-10-12. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  13. ^ Flynn, Caitlin. "Meet the 22-Year-Old Who Is Trying to Change How Police Interview Sexual Assault Victims". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2017-12-15.