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Family says Naknek woman killed herself after sexual assault

Posted: November 21, 2012 - 12:04am

ANCHORAGE — A woman who allegedly was sexually assaulted has killed herself, her family said.

The woman shot herself in Naknek over the weekend, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Prosecutors now are evaluating their case against Sergie Andrew Chukwak, who authorities say assaulted a woman Nov. 5 after a night of drinking. Chukwak could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday and it was unclear if he had an attorney.

The state had planned to seek an indictment on a felony rape charge against Chukwak, 45, who is a commercial fisherman and a director for the Bristol Bay Native Corp., one of 13 regional Alaska Native corporations.

Prosecutors now are trying to determine if there is enough evidence to pursue the case without victim testimony, according to assistant District Attorney Marianna Carpeneti. She said police are talking to witnesses.

Chukwak told a magistrate during a hearing Monday that he is innocent and pleaded not guilty to a lesser, misdemeanor charge. Prosecutors can still seek a felony indictment against him, Carpeneti said.

Bristol Bay Borough police learned of the death when the woman’s husband phoned police Sunday afternoon, said Police Chief Rodney Enevoldsen. Police declined to identify the woman, who is identified in charging documents as “K.L.”

Citing an ongoing investigation, Enevoldsen would not say if the death appeared to be a suicide.

Bristol Bay Native Corp. spokeswoman Andria Agli said the corporation is aware of the criminal case and “is evaluating appropriate actions in light of the circumstances.”

According to a written statement by the borough police chief, Chukwak and two others had come to the Naknek home of the woman and her husband to play beer pong. The woman’s husband said he passed out two or three times that night, and when he awoke headed for bed, he found Chukwak on top of his motionless wife, according to the police statement.

The husband told police he pulled Chukwak off his wife and hit him at least three times and chased him out. The woman said she didn’t remember the encounter, but added that Chukwak had tried to kiss her the night before, according to the police statement.

Prosecutors filed a charge of second-degree sexual assault against Chukwak, and prosecutors later amended the charge to fourth-degree assault.

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