Daniel Jorgensen, formerly a touring member with the Christian electronica act Owl City, has been charged with criminal sexual contact and child luring. Jorgensen is accused of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old fan on a beach in Atlantic City in 2013, as well as attempting to lure the girl to his hotel room. Adam Young, Owl City’s founder and sole member when they’re not on tour, fired Jorgensen in December of that year.
The Atlantic City prosecutor’s office announced the indictment on Wednesday, saying that Jorgensen, who lives in Minneapolis, is charged with attempting to lure or entice a child, a second-degree crime, and criminal sexual contact, a fourth-degree crime. (New Jersey doesn’t organize crimes by “felony” and “misdemeanor,” but an indictable offense is equivalent to a felony in other states.)
Rumors about Jorgensen’s predatory behavior have been circulating for quite some time, as Stereogum points out, popping up recently in a comment thread about the band. Philly.com says that in 2013, after Jorgensen’s departure, the band released a statement indicating he was fired due to the allegations:
“As of this weekend, we have terminated Daniel Jorgensen’s employment and all involvement as a touring member of Owl City. Please understand that this business decision does not implicate Daniel in the judicial system, but was both necessary and appropriate given the allegations that have surfaced over the last handful of days.”
There’s also a now-deleted 2013 Tumblr post by a young woman who identifies herself as the fan in question; we are not linking to it to protect her privacy, but she goes into detail about Jorgensen’s alleged behavior towards her.
The girl says the two met at a show when she was 13 and he was 27, and that he began messaging her on Facebook, eventually steering the conversation towards sexual topics. He eventually persuaded her to come to a show in Atlantic City, she says, then tried to initiate sexual contact, despite her explicitly telling him she wasn’t interested:
I soon made the decision to attend another Owl City show in Atlantic City. The topic was discussed between us multiple times, him trying to convince me to make out and be sexual with him, me saying no. At one point, I did say I would kiss him, but not go any further. At that point, he told me it wasn’t worth it, and to not even come. I got very mad at him then. Telling him he made me feel like I was nothing but a body. He tried to convince me otherwise, and said he just couldn’t control himself if I was there after we (he) had talked about it so much since our last meeting. He began trying to convince me to go again, of course be sexual as well, and offering to get us a hotel room so that no one would find us. Knowing what was legal and what was not, he claimed to not be implying sexual intercourse, just as far as he could push it without that happening.
Something Daniel does, and is very good at, is manipulating people. Somehow in the midst of all of this, he managed to change my mind. I still stood by my morals, not wanted anything sexual to happen, but wanting to see my best friend so bad that I was willing to make out with him. He pushed it as far as he could, threatening not to see me if I didn’t do what he wanted, but eventually the topic died and next thing I knew I was in Atlantic City. He called me the night before the show, saying he was feeling anxious, how he usually feels before something bad happens, and saying we shouldn’t get a hotel room. I was, of course, thinking he had been planning this the whole time, so it surprised me when he said he still wanted to see me, and possibly “smooch it up” some. We decided to walk as far down the beach as we could until we were far enough to hopefully not be seen by crew or fans.
The next morning, we met up and walked far down the beach, and eventually sat down. He kept trying to get me to sit closer and closer until I was almost on top of him. To avoid getting too into detail about that day, I will just give a quick summary. We spent the entire day wrapped in each other’s arms, and making out. I had to keep my hands covering his the entire time, just to direct them away from the places he was trying very hard to get them to. His constant attempt to lay on top of me was something I had to stop as well. I felt like the adult that day, even though I was 14 years younger than him.
The girl also included a photo of herself and Jorgensen. She looks very young and has braces on her teeth.
Owl City’s founder and sole non-touring member Adam Young is Christian, and has said his music is inspired by Jesus; it’s not clear if Jorgensen also claims to be big on God. Jorgensen was married earlier this year to a woman whose Facebook profile says she works as a nanny.
If convicted, Jorgensen could serve five to 10 years in state prison on the luring charge and up to 18 months on the criminal sexual contact charge. Jezebel has contacted Jorgensen for comment and will update in the unlikely event that we hear back.
Jorgensen in 2011. Screengrab via YouTube