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Juneau man accused of abuse makes first court appearance

Posted: April 26, 2011 - 5:47pm

Juneau man has court appearance for sex abuse charges

The Juneau man arrested Monday by the Juneau Police Department on 20 counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Second Degree, all class B Felonies, had a preliminary appearance in District Court Tuesday before Judge Keith Levy.

Jesse Cohen, 27, was appointed the public defender’s agency for council. Each charge has a domestic violence designation attached. The charges relate to 20 different visitation periods between July 3, 2010 and March 27, 2011.

Each count carries a minimum of five years in jail and a maximum of 99.

District Attorney Dave Brower stated Cohen had no criminal history but based on the severity of the offenses asked for a $100,000 bail, half cash performance and half appearance, and a third party custodian.

Public Defender Kevin Higgins said the $100,000 was excessive as Cohen, originally from Ketchikan, was not a flight risk and there was no evidence he was a threat to anyone else as the offenses were directed at one individual and the alleged harm was done in private and the victim has since been protected.

Brower stated that a lot of times courts make the wrong assumption that once a particular victim is safe that there is no longer a safety issue.

“Simply because that particular victim would be safe doesn’t mean the community and other victims would be safe,” Brower said. “I think the court needs to take into consideration because A victim, and there is only one victim, doesn’t necessarily mean there wouldn’t be any other victims. I think the court needs to take into account the community’s safety and not just this victim.”

Levy stated that, with respect to appearance, on one hand Cohen has ties to the community but on the other hand anyone facing charges this serious and the subsequent jail time they are a flight risk.

With respect to performance Levy acknowledged lack of criminal history, but that this is the kind of offense that is shocking to most people. Levy said the crimes could have the possibility of being directed at others as well.

Levy set an all cash bail of $100,000, half appearance and half performance, and said the high bail did not call for the need of a third party custodian.

Cohen is to have no contact, even while in custody, with the victim or any person under the age of 18. A preliminary hearing was set for May 6.

• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

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