Arrest warrants have been ordered for a Jefferson man and woman who allegedly sexually abused one or both of their daughters, and law enforcement believes the woman’s life might be in danger.
Benjamin Jeffrey Ellingson, 37, of 704 N. Chestnut St., Jefferson, will face charges of lascivious acts with a child, enticing a minor under the age of 16 for sexual purpose, continuous sexual abuse of a child, prostitution, third-degree sexual abuse of a child of the same household and sexual exploitation of a minor.
Shanda Jean Ellingson, 39, of 704 N. Chestnut St., Jefferson, will face charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, first-offense possession of marijuana, domestic abuse assault while displaying a weapon, willful injury, solicitation of lascivious acts with a child, enticing a minor under the age of 16 for sexual purpose, continuous sexual abuse of a child, third-degree sexual abuse with the child victim coerced by person in authority.
The Jefferson Police Department has not released a statement about the case, but court records show that Benjamin Ellingson was arrested June 3 on a charge of first-offense domestic abuse assault after Shanda Ellingson told officers June 2 that Benjamin Ellingson “had spit on her and struck her in the face with an open hand” that morning and “threatened to kill her several times.”
In court records, the Jefferson Police Department also summarized “several audio recordings that provide evidence of Shanda being in an abusive relationship with Ben Ellingson. These audio recordings provided evidence that she is being threatened and abused.”
On the tapes, Benjamin Ellingson can allegedly be heard “making threats toward Shanda that indicated he was willing to kill her if ‘she did not act right,'” and he is heard “talking about performing sex acts on Shanda’s child,” according to court records.
Benjamin Ellingson was booked into the Greene County Jail June 3 about 2 p.m. and released about 8 p.m. after a protective order was issued for Shanda Ellingson, prohibiting Benjamin Ellingson from making contact with his wife.
On June 6, a male friend of Shanda Ellingson reported to the Jefferson Police Department that she “was missing and in danger,” according to court records. Officers responded and found the Ellingsons’ two teenage daughters alone in their Jefferson home.
The male friend showed the officers a video and a hand-written note from Shanda Ellingson, “saying that if anything were to happen to her, she wanted” the male friend “to care for her daughters,” according to court records.
The daughters told the officers that they last saw their mother on the evening of June 5, and “they did not know where she was going or why she left,” according to court records.
Additional investigations led the officers to conclude that “if Shanda is not located in a timely manner, her life is in danger,” according to court records.
Identifying herself as Shanda Ellingson’s mother, Diane Reedy Daniels said in a June 20 Facebook post, “This is my daughter Shanda Ellingson. She could be using the last names of Daniels, Mead, Houdek or Ellingson. She’s about 5′ 3”. She had brown long hair blue eyes weighs around 100 lbs or less. She’s 39 years old. Possibly with her husband and could be in great danger.”
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Benjamin Ellingson or Shanda Ellingson is asked to call 911 or the Jefferson Police Department at 515-386-2136.
Benjamin Ellingson was convicted of third-degree kidnapping, third-degree sexual abuse, assault with intent to commit sexual abuse-injury and two counts of first-offense purchase or possession of a medium depicting the exploitation of a minor in 2005 in Winneshiek County District Court.
ThePerryNews.com will update this story as information becomes available.
*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.