Motel front desk clerk sentenced to 180 days in jail for raping guest
The man's DNA matched semen samples found on the woman's clothing. He told law enforcement he had no idea how his DNA got on her clothes.
RED WING — A 34-year-old Red Wing man was sentenced in Goodhue County District Court to 180 days in jail and two years of supervised probation for sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman who was staying at a motel he was working at as the front desk clerk.
Jack Charles Fickle pleaded guilty to felony fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct as part of a January 2023 plea deal that dismissed charges of third- and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, both felonies. The charge he pleaded guilty to references penetration.
Fickle was working as the front desk clerk at a Red Wing Super 8 Motel on Jan. 11, 2021, when a woman was dropped off by a Goodhue County Sheriff's deputy around 1 a.m. She had reported a domestic assault by her boyfriend in Pine Island the day prior and the deputy brought her to the hotel because she needed a place to stay.
Management from the motel did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
District Judge Douglas Bayley credited Fickle with 100 days for time served and ordered him to successfully complete a sex offender treatment program. Bayley also ordered a stay of adjudication in the case, meaning that if Fickle successfully completes probation, his charges will eventually be dismissed. Bayley's rulings in the case are in line with Fickle's plea deal.
"It’s our policy to make sure victims of person-crimes feel safe," Goodhue County Sheriff's Administrative Assitant Kris Weiss wrote in an email to the Post Bulletin. "This is done by separating the parties in some manner: through arrest of a suspect; if no clear arrest can be made, arrangements are made to get them in separate locations."
No arrests were made for the woman's domestic incident and the Sheriff's Office contacted the Women’s Center Haven of Hope, a women's shelter run by the Hope Coalition, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people facing domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and homelessness, to help arrange a room for the woman at the Super 8 motel, according to Weiss.
"We know that cases of domestic violence and sexual assault can be very complex," Sara Kern, executive director of the Hope Coalition, wrote in an email to the Post Bulletin. "Perpetrators will take advantage of situations to gain power and control over their victims."
Advocates from the Hope Coalition are available to survivors to provide confidential support and resources any time of day or night at 1-800-369-5214.
According to the criminal complaint:
The woman reported the sexual assault to law enforcement the afternoon of Jan. 11, and her clothes were sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for DNA testing.
The woman told law enforcement she did not want to go to the motel and was afraid to be alone, she told an investigator with the Red Wing Police Department during a Jan. 21, 2022, interview.
"She added that she did not have her cell phone with her and felt like she had no options," part of the complaint reads. The room was paid for by the Hope Coalition.
After arriving at the motel, Fickle showed her to her room and then requested she call her boyfriend from the previous domestic incident so that he would stop calling the motel.
Fickle was able to enter her room shortly after the call by using a key in his possession. He then proceeded to sexually assault the woman.
The woman was not able to make phone calls from the room before and after the sexual assault.
In a Jan. 21, 2022, interview with investigators, Fickle denied sexually assaulting the woman and claimed he attempted to make the woman feel safe.
"Fickle stated that he thought her questions and small talk were stall tactics to keep him in her room which gave him the impression that she was possibly fearful to be alone," part of the complaint reads.
Fickle also said he was happily married and would never cheat on his wife, who was asleep in the motel room across from the room where the sexual assault took place.
He reported that the last time he saw the woman was later that morning when the pair shared a cigarette in front of the motel entrance.
“I never touched her. Not once. I never made no physical contact with her,” Fickle told police.
Semen samples found on the woman's clothing were found to be a match for Fickle's DNA following a analysis by the BCA. Fickle told law enforcement he had no idea how his DNA got on her clothes.