Man convicted in IU student’s murder faces rape charges in separate 2012 case

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Daniel Messel

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– The man convicted of murdering IU student Hannah Wilson is facing several charges in a separate case.

Daniel Messel is facing new charges of rape, criminal deviate conduct, criminal confinement, theft and battery resulting in bodily injury in a case from 2012.

According to IU police, detectives have been reviewing all reports of similar crimes over the past several years.

Messel was sentenced to 80 years in prison for Wilson’s murder. He is appealing that conviction.

The 2012 attack occurred during the early morning hours on Sept. 1. The victim, who at the time was a 22-year-old IU student, had been out at Nick’s and then Dunkirk Bar that evening.

At some point, the victim came into contact with a male suspect she didn’t know. She remembered being in a car with the man, and felt an “icy presence.” She knew something was wrong and that she was in trouble.

According to court documents, the suspect drove her against her will to a secluded parking lot near Griffy Lake, where she was beaten and sexually assaulted. She tried to fight back.

Court documents show the suspect punched her in the face so hard it knocked the contact our of her eye and she was spitting blood.

The suspect left the victim in the secluded parking lot and fled the scene in a vehicle, taking many of the victim’s belongings with him, including her phone, shoes and credit card.

The victim managed to walk to a nearby home, where she asked for assistance. The homeowner called police. The victim was transported to the hospital, and IUPD detectives recovered evidence from the victim and the crime scene.  The victim was unable to recall specific details of the crime and could not provide a description of the suspect or his vehicle.

Officials say a DNA profile recovered from evidence in this case is consistent with the DNA profile of Messel. IU police traveled to the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City in an attempt to speak to Messel, but he would not provide a statement.

An Indiana State Police forensic scientist that made the DNA comparison said the profile was “…consistent with Daniel Messel and are estimated to occur once in 1.7 million unrelated individuals.”

IUPD officers encourage anyone who experienced a similar attack to call them at 812-855-4111.

Brown County Prosecutor Ted Adams issued this statement in regards to Messel appealing his conviction:

“Brown County and the Indiana State Police took painstaking efforts at great expense to ensure an impartial jury and a fair trial.  I feel confident that the record is solid and that the conviction will stand while the Defendant exercises his constitutional right to appeal his conviction.”

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