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Messel Facing New Charges, Files Appeal In Wilson Murder Conviction
Updated March 28, 2017 6:49 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Daniel Messel, who received a 80-year prison sentence last fall for killing Indiana University student Hannah Wilson, will appear in court today on a 2012 sexual assault of an IU law student.

This news comes the same day Messel filed an appeal in the Wilson murder conviction.

Messel's being charged with rape, criminal confinement, criminal deviate conduct, battery, and theft of the woman's shoes, clutch purse and cellphone. 51-year-old Messel will appear via a video teleconference from the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.

A jury found Messel guilty of murdering Wilson in August 2016 and he was sentenced to 80 years in prison last month. Wilson, a senior at IU, was killed in April 2015. Police found her body in a vacant lot in Brown County about 30 minutes away from the Bloomington campus.

Prompted by details revealed during Messel's trial, a victim in a separate case contacted police in August to discuss similarities.

Investigators were able to connect Messel to the attack through DNA evidence. After his conviction for Wilson's 2015 murder, Messel's DNA was entered into a database. Police say it matched DNA that came from skin cells scraped from beneath the woman's fingernails after her attack.

The attack occurred during the early morning hours of September 1, 2012. The victim, who was a 22-year-old IU student at the time, went to Nick's and Dunkirk Bar that night.

The victim told detectives she was very drunk and the next thing she remembers is being in a car with a white man she did not know. The victim said she felt an "icy presence," "fear in her chest," and "sensed something was wrong."

The suspect drove her to a secluded parking lot near Griffy Lake. He opened the door, grabbed the victim's hair, and threw her to the ground.

The woman fought back, scratching, kicking, punching and kneeing her assailant. When she refused to do what he wanted, he punched her in the face so hard it knocked a contact lens out of her eye and caused her to spit out blood. He then sexually assaulted her.

The suspect left the victim in the parking lot and fled the scene in a vehicle, taking her clutch purse, shoes, iPhone, credit card, and drivers permit with him.

The victim walked to the nearest home for help.

These new charges were filed against Messel the same day he filed an appeal for the murder conviction in Wilson's case.

Brown County Prosecutor Ted Adams released the following statement regarding the appeal:

"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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