On Saturday morning I was reading the Dickinson Press Newspaper on-line, when I saw an article about a young man that I know named Erik, being charged with Gross Sexual Imposition in Dickinson. More specifically, the article said “….gross sexual imposition, sexual acts forced for the compelling of a victim to submit by force or by threat of imminent death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping to sexual acts.”
This is a very serious charge, it can be either a Class AA felony, or a Class A felony, depending on the circumstances, with prison sentences ranging from several years to twenty years.
I was shocked, I never would have thought that Erik would do something like this, and I still don’t believe that he would.
In the summer of 2016 and 2017 when Erik was in high school, on Thursdays he would work as a volunteer from noon until midnight setting up, working, and taking down the concert events in downtown Dickinson. This involved delivering coral fencing, barricades, tables, water troughs used as coolers, tents, ice, drinks, cups, garbage cans, banners, event shirts, and stage equipment, setting all of this up, re-supplying during the event, and taking everything back down and hauling it away at midnight.
It was often hot, sometimes windy, sometimes rainy, very long days, and Erik never backed-out, never complained, never was in a bad mood. Erick never caused any problems whatsoever. He never broke, dropped, or damaged anything, never had a mishap driving anything. He and his friends never got into any of the alcohol, and never got into any trouble whatsoever.
All of the event organizers, volunteers, and attendees liked Erik, no one ever had a problem with him. Erik had a lot of friends his own age, both male and female, and he got along with everyone. Some of the young women performers took a liking to Erik, and spent time with him at the event.
After Erik graduated from high school, his father told me that Erik had joined the U.S. Army and that he was in Basic Training. I thought that Erik would probably do very, very well in the military. Later in 2018, I saw on Facebook or in the newspaper that Erik was a combat medic in the U.S. Army.
In early 2019, I saw or read somewhere that Erik was back in Dickinson, and I was surprised, his enlistment couldn’t be over yet. I wondered what had happened, but I found out that you can leave active-duty in the Army if you are willing to serve longer in the Army National Guard, which is what he chose to do. I had thought that Erik would go far in the military, I wished that he had stayed on active duty in the Army so that he could advance and make a career out of it, but some people don’t like the Army life after all.
In my opinion, Dickinson is not a very good place to live. There are not very many things to do for recreation, or to socialize. Employment opportunities are very limited. If a person goes to work in the oil field or construction, in Dickinson people will forever think of that person in terms of what their job is: truck driver, swamper, roustabout, floor hand, welder, plumber, electrician. It is very hard for anyone to ever advance out of the position they are in, it is like the people in Dickinson won’t allow it. This is why many young people realize that they have got to get out of Dickinson.
I wish that Erik never would have returned to Dickinson, where there is very little to do, and everyone here just gets stuck in the job that they are doing, never getting anywhere. With nothing to do and going nowhere in life, the people here resort to alcoholism, drug use, and trying to make sure that other people fail too.
I don’t believe that Erik forced anyone to have sex with him, he is not like that, he gets along with people, he has friends, and women like him. I believe that alcohol was probably involved, and that the “victim” was probably not a victim, but someone who became angry at Erik afterwards. I just can not see Erik doing anything violent or coercive to someone else. I can see someone doing what is very common in Dickinson, to try to make sure that someone else fails, to try to ruin someone else’s life for them.
I am interested to know what happened, and who the victim is. I don’t care if anyone thinks that this is none of my business. People in Dickinson are experts at keeping their mouth shut and doing nothing when bad things are going on, and bad things are happening to other people.
If anyone cares about what happens to Erik, I suggest that people try to find out what happened, who is involved, and try to determine if there is anything that can be done to help Erik, the sooner the better. It is not going to help Erik to do nothing and wait for him to be tried, possibly be convicted, possibly be given a long prison sentence, and to feel sorry about it.