David Ralston hired a cleaning lady, drugged and assaulted her. Just arrested after weeks of evading law enforcement
A Florida International University professor was arrested Thursday on charges of drugging and raping a housekeeper in an assault recorded by his home security cameras, investigators said.
David Ralston, 69, of Weston, was found and arrested Thursday at a hotel in Fort Lauderdale, U.S. Marshals said.Ralston found the housekeeper on Craiglist and hired her to clean his Fort Myers house in April, Lee County Sheriff’s investigators said.
He offered the woman a drink, and she told investigators she felt disoriented and passed out about 30 minutes later. She was semi-conscious during the sexual assault, detectives said.
David Ralston’s house, the scene of the rape
According to the sheriff’s report, the woman said that on her third cleaning job at Ralston’s home, April 29, he offered her an afternoon drink which she recalled tasted like “a really strong vodka and orange juice.” About a half hour later she felt “drugged.”“[The woman] believes she passed out for some time, but remembers hearing and feeling something vibrating inside her,” the report said.
She said she didn’t remember anything else until 10 or 11 p.m. The report says the woman’s husband got a call from her at 2:34 p.m. during which she said somebody had taken her clothes. He called 911, though he didn’t know the address of Ralston’s house.
His wife reached a neighbor who called the husband to say the woman was with him. He arrived to find his wife passed out in the driveway.
Two days later, sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant at Ralston’s home. They walked out with what marshals said is the incriminating video.
Detectives said they searched Ralston’s Fort Myers home on May 1 and found a video from his home security system that recorded the sexual assault.
David Ralston placed under arrest by the Police on Thursday
On May 6, sheriff’s detectives contacted Ralston and his attorney to arrange a surrender. They refused several times and Ralston disappeared, investigators said.
The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force staked out Ralston’s Weston property, but he never went there Wednesday, officials said.
Ralston was found at the Days Inn on Thursday and was booked into the Broward Main Jail on charges that include sexual assault on a helpless victim, marshals said.
Ralston faces extradition back to Lee County in coming weeks.
Ralston works in FIU’s College of Business, according to the university’s website. He has a PhD in business administration from Florida State University and other degrees from Florida State, Florida Atlantic University and Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, according to FIU’s website.