February 25, 2022
On February 24, 2022 a Humboldt County jury reached verdicts in the David Lee Dues trial. The jury found 34 year old Dues guilty of felony false imprisonment and indecent exposure and found him not guilty of assault with intent to commit sexual assault.
Evidence presented at trial showed that on November 1, 2020 at about 10:15 p.m., the defendant entered the Fortuna Launderland as the lone occupant of the business, an employee in her 50s, was closing up. The defendant proceeded to lunge for her feet and chased her into a back office. There the defendant exposed himself and continued his assault until the employee successfully fought him off. The defendant fled the scene, but Fortuna Police officers located him at the bus stop near Launderland the following morning. The jury also heard evidence of Dues’ prior conduct, including a similar assault from 2008 where the defendant threatened to rape another woman and testimony about voicemails the defendant left for his mother, also threatening to rape her. Both the Launderland employee and the survivor of the 2008 assault testified at trial.
Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Schaffer prosecuted the case with the assistance of District Attorney Investigator Ryan Hill and Victim Witness Advocate Caitlyn LaHaie. Deputy Public Defenders Ben McLaughlin and Kylie Boyd represented Mr. Dues. Judge Christopher G. Wilson presided over the case. Mr. Dues is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22,