Technical Sgt. Erik Eldon Clemenson, 44, of Glyndon, Minn., appeared Friday, Oct. 16, in Cass County District Court on a Class B felony of sexual imposition. If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
The Fargo Police Department started investigating the allegations in September after the North Dakota Air National Guard Base reported the sexual assault to law enforcement in late August.
Court documents stated Clemenson asked a female guard member of lower rank if he could sleep on her couch on Nov. 7 after a night of drinking. The woman said she didn’t have anything to drink, but Clemenson was allegedly intoxicated enough that he was slurring his words.
After arriving at the woman’s apartment, she showed Clemenson where the couch was before she went to bed, the complaint said. Clemenson used the bathroom, came to her bed as she was lying there and said he was going to sleep with her, not on the couch, according to the incident report.
The woman told Clemenson no several times, but he continuously touched her inappropriately before raping her, the incident report alleged. He then fell asleep, the complaint said.
Clemenson told police he had arranged a ride with others that night because he had a driving while under the influence conviction on his record, the complaint said. The people he had a ride with left without him, so he asked the woman if he could sleep on her couch, according to the complaint.
He initially denied having sex with the woman but later said it was consensual, according to court documents. In a later statement, Clemenson said the woman had “been giving him attention at work and flirting with him, and that he had become infatuated with her,” the complaint said. He said he gave into temptation, the complaint said.
Police noted in the complaint the woman was scared because Clemenson is more than twice her age, he was drunk and “essentially her boss.”
Court records don't state Clemenson's rank, but the North Dakota Air National Guard website shows a 2019 photo that says he is a technical sergeant for the 119th Security Forces Squadron. He also helped organize Special Olympics Polar Plunge events in Fargo.
A recent mugshot was unavailable for Clemenson since he was summoned to court instead of being booked into Cass County Jail. The Forum used a mugshot from Clemenson's DUI arrest.
Judge Steven Marquart set bond at $10,000, but allowed Clemenson to pay 10% cash if he complies with a no-contact order.