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For Immediate Release

Contact:
June 16, 2016 Barry Golden, Senior Inspector
Southern District of Florida (954) 214-0301;
Lee County Sheriff’s Public Information Officer
Sgt. Matt McDaniel (239) 839-9891
Miami Professor Who is Wanted for Alleged Sexual Assault Arrested in Fort Lauderdale
 
Fort Lauderdale, FL – United States Marshal Amos Rojas Jr. for the Southern District of Florida, United States Marshal William Berger from the Middle District of Florida, and Lee County Sheriff (Ft. Myers) Mike Scott announce the arrest of David Allen Ralston. Ralston, 69, was arrested today at a hotel in Fort Lauderdale by members of the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force and Lee County Sheriff’s deputies who are assigned to the U.S. Marshals task force. Ralston is being charged by detectives from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office with Sexual Assault When Victim Helpless.

According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office investigation, in April of 2016, Ralston hired a housekeeper from Craigslist to clean his home in Ft. Myers. On April 29, 2016, the housekeeper was at Ralston’s home located on Gleneagle Court in Fort Myers. Ralston is alleged to have offered the victim a drink which the housekeeper accepted. The victim stated to law enforcement that after approximately 30 minutes, she felt disoriented and suspected that she was drugged and passed out for a period of time. Ralston is alleged to have sexually assaulted the victim against her will while she was unconscious. LCSO detectives state the victim attempted to push Ralston away, but those attempts were unsuccessful.

The victim was found in Ralston’s driveway in an incoherent state and was transported back to her home. The victim reported the sexual assault to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

On May 1, 2016, detectives from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) obtained a search warrant to collect evidence from Ralston’s home in Ft. Myers. LCSO detectives retrieved a video from Ralston’s home security system that captured the alleged sexual assault on the victim. On May 6, 2016 LCSO detectives spoke to Ralston and his attorney telephonically in an attempt to get him to surrender to Lee County Sheriff’s officials, but Ralston and his attorney refused on numerous occasions to comply. Ralston’s whereabouts were unknown.

On June 10, 2016, Lee County Sheriff’s detectives obtained an arrest warrant which charges Ralston with Sexual Assault When Victim Helpless. This investigation showed that Ralston also owns a home located on Orion Lane in Weston, Florida. The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force adopted this case and began working jointly with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

On Wednesday June 15, 2016, Deputy U.S. Marshals and Lee County Sheriff’s Task Force officers from Ft. Myers traveled to the City of Weston in Broward County to conduct surveillance on Ralston’s home in Weston, FL. Other Deputy U.S. Marshals and FDLE agents from the Miami offices assisted in the surveillance to locate Ralston. Ralston was not located on this date.

Today, Deputy U.S. Marshals from Miami and Ft. Myers, a team of Lee County Sheriff’s detectives assigned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and agents from FDLE arrested Ralston at the Days Inn located at 1700 W. Broward Blvd., in Fort Lauderdale. Ralston will be booked into the Broward County jail on the outstanding Sexual Battery When Victim Helpless warrant from Ft. Myers. Ralston will await extradition back to Lee County in the coming weeks.

For more information on the investigation of the alleged criminal charges in this case, please contact Lee County Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Sergeant Matt McDaniel at (239) 839-9891.

Ralston’s arrest was the result of efforts by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Miramar Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE/ERO, and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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