FIU professor arrested in Fort Myers sex assault case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida International University professor has been arrested in connection with an alleged sexual assault that took place in April at his home on Gleneagle Court in Fort Myers.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office detectives say they obtained surveillance video of the alleged assault from the home of David Allen Ralston, 69, who is a professor in the Department of Management & International Business at the College of Business at FIU.

A housekeeper that Ralston hired off Craigslist told police she felt disoriented 30 minutes after accepting a drink from Ralston and suspects she was drugged and passed out for a period of time.

Ralston is alleged to have sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious, according to the sheriff’s office investigation. The woman unsuccessfully attempted to push Ralston away during the assault, authorities said.

Authorities took Ralston into custody Thursday at a Fort Lauderdale hotel and are booking him into the Broward County jail.

“For a month and a half, Mr. Ralston knew about this,” said Barry Golden with the U.S. Marshals. “He knew that the Lee County Sheriff’s Office was looking for him, he knew criminal charges were pending. Phone calls from Ralston and his attorney kept going back and forth, his attorney kept making excuses.”

The professor joined the FIU faculty for the 2011-12 academic year, according to his bio on the university’s website. He previously held the Michael F. Price Chair in International Business at the University of Oklahoma.