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Amy Dalrymple, Published March 10 2009

Kidnapping suspect facing sex charges

When David Randy Sabby was arrested this weekend on suspicion of kidnapping a girl in Fergus Falls, Minn., he was out on bond for 14 sexual abuse charges he faces in a neighboring county.

The 46-year-old Elbow Lake, Minn., man is accused in Grant County District Court of sexually assaulting a girl several times between October 2007 and November 2008, court records say.

Sabby posted bond – half of the $50,000 amount requested by prosecutors – in the case.

Fergus Falls Police Chief Tim Brennan said Monday the victim in that case is Sabby’s 17-year-old stepdaughter, the same girl he’s accused of abducting from the city’s mall on Saturday.

The Forum is not naming the girl because she has reported being a victim of a sex crime.

Sabby also is charged in Grant County with violating an order for protection his stepdaughter had taken out against him.

In Fergus Falls, Sabby is expected to be charged today in connection with the abduction.

Sabby’s stepson, Derek Allen Gilpin, 26, is being held in the Otter Tail County Jail on suspicion of helping Sabby, with police saying Gilpin gave Sabby information to help him locate and abduct the girl. Charges have not yet been filed against Gilpin.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office also is investigating a fire at the cabin Sabby took the girl to after abducting her.

Sabby’s attorney, Kent Marshall of Barrett, Minn., said he had not yet talked to Sabby nor did he have details about the charges.

“There’s always two sides to all of these stories,” Marshall said. “What you hear initially isn’t always 100 percent the case, and certainly we don’t know what’s there and what isn’t.”

Sabby’s past cases

On Jan. 14, the Grant County sheriff’s office received a report that the girl was a victim of sexual abuse.

Six days later, the girl’s mother filed a petition in Grant County for an order for protection against Sabby on the girl’s behalf.

The details of the petition are redacted because the girl is a minor. The order was granted Jan. 29.

On Jan. 26, prosecutors charged Sabby with 14 counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in Grant County.

Stevens County Attorney Charles Glasrud is handling the case because the Grant County attorney has a conflict of interest, not uncommon for the county of less than 7,000 people.

Sabby posted $25,000 bond Jan. 27 and was released from jail without conditions.

Glasrud requested $50,000 unconditional bond or $25,000 conditional bond. He said he based his request on amounts ordered in similar cases.

Judge Gerald Seibel ordered $25,000 unconditional bond or $5,000 conditional bond.

Marshall, his attorney, said Sabby posted the larger amount because he’s a pilot with AirTran and needs to leave the state, which he could not do under conditional release.

Sabby has not entered a plea in the case. He is scheduled to appear in court April 27.

On Feb. 12, Sabby was cited for violating the order for protection.

Sabby went to the Grant County courthouse that day when his wife had a hearing for a civil matter that involved the girl, Marshall said.

Sabby was not involved in the case and should not have been there, said Glasrud, who requested the maximum $6,000 bond for the misdemeanor charge.

Judge Seibel ordered Sabby released on conditions, including having no contact with the girl, but ordered no bail.

Sabby pleaded not guilty to that charge.

New details

Police say Gilpin gave information to Sabby about the girl’s whereabouts, knowing she had a protection order against him.

Gilpin told police Sabby wanted to talk to the girl about the allegations in the Grant County case, Brennan said.

Authorities don’t believe Gilpin knew Sabby intended to kidnap the girl.

Gilpin and the girl have the same mother but neither are related to Sabby, Brennan said.

After Sabby confronted Gilpin and the girl at gunpoint while they were in a car, Sabby ordered Gilpin to the back of the car, police said. Sabby told Gilpin not to move and bound his hands and feet with duct tape. Gilpin later broke free and called police.

The state fire marshal is assisting with an investigation of a fire at a vacant cabin on the east side of Swan Lake where Sabby is accused of taking the girl.

Police say Sabby detained the girl for several hours at the cabin before giving her the keys to his pickup and letting her drive away.

After she left, the cabin started on fire, but investigators don’t know what happened.

Marshall said the fire appears accidental, possibly caused when his client was trying to warm up the cabin with a heater.

Sabby went to a nearby home, where a resident called police.

Ambulance personnel treated Sabby for a cut to his neck. Brennan said Sabby told personnel there was an explosion and he was cut by flying glass.

Police have not found the gun Sabby used. Investigators are searching for it in the rubble of the burned cabin, Brennan said.

Messages left at the jail for Sabby and Gilpin were not returned Monday.

The girl’s mother did not return a call seeking comment.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590