Editor's note: The following story contains a description of an alleged crime of a sexual nature. Readers are encouraged to use their own discretion when reading.
Bound by duct tape around her legs and hands, the victim of Christopher Scholes’ kidnapping managed to slip one hand loose and start to text a message for help. Instead, interrupted by arrival at the site where she would be repeatedly raped, the text was left unsent saying “hell.”
That cell text was state’s Exhibit 32 presented before Judge Philip Pallenberg in Juneau Superior Court Thursday for the sentencing of Scholes, who had plead guilty on Sept. 17, 2009 to kidnapping, sexual assault in the first degree and sexual abuse of a minor.
Scholes was originally indicted on 17 charges stemming from the Dec. 1, 2008 night when he walked up behind the 15-year-old female victim on a path near Floyd Dryden Middle School. The victim was choked unconscious, bound with duct tape, driven to Sholes’ home and raped. Two hours later the victim was bound and blindfolded and returned to the school. They did not know each other.
While the State of Alaska and the defense agreed the violent assault was committed, what was to be determined was the prospect of rehabilitation.
Scholes has been in administrative segregation at Lemon Creek Correctional Center since his arrest in 2008. The 23-hour-a-day lockdown is for his protection from other inmates. He is allowed out of his cell for one hour a day. The delay in a sentencing hearing is a result of multiple examinations and evaluations in LCCC.
State exhibit photos included graphic evidence — the victims scratched hands and fingers, a tee-shirt cut down the middle with scissors, moose pajamas Scholes wore during the attack, blood stains on the victims pants, a computer with missing hard drive, a bottle of wine victim was forced to drink and the teddy bear, bloodied, she bit down on to stifle the pain of the sexual assault. They also presented images of a hand-written note next to Scholes’ computer with numbers for hard core porn sites of bondage and fetish-type porn, rope in the form of a noose, a lighter, scissors, a Google map showing Kiowa Drive where victim walked to path near Floyd Dryden and a home nearby on Nugget Place where Scholes lived.
Four exhibits, including a bottle used during the sexual attack, were sent to the state crime lab and the results showed that the DNA of Scholes, his girlfriend and the victim were on them.
Juneau Police Officer Detective Elias Jovan and Kimberly Horn described the police and interview reports.
The victim had tried to avoid Scholes by walking on the other side of the street. Her IPod music muffled his advance from behind as he attacked and choked her. When she regained consciousness the man was on top of her.
“He said if I screamed again he would kill me,” the victim said in an interview given to the DA’s office.
The five-foot 140-pound victim described Scholes duct taping her hands behind her and her legs together, and being thrown over his shoulder and carried to a vehicle. She started the text message for help but the distance to his house was too short. When he saw the phone Scholes drug the victim by the hair up stairs and inside his house, kicked her in the stomach, and took her into the bedroom.
Scholes used scissors to cut off her clothes. He sexually assaulted her in various ways. The two engaged in conversation and he assaulted her again. The victim asked if she would be left alive and Scholes said, “I will take my own life.”
Scholes went to join his girlfriend in Portland two days after the attack. A police press release with the victims descriptions of Scholes and the vehicle resulted in a friend of Scholes wife, Laura, coming forward. A search warrant for the residence and car were served. Scholes learned of the investigation and fled to the San Juan Islands in the state of Washington, where he was apprehended near a pay phone he used to call his parents.
The victim picked Scholes out of a lineup, saying, “That is definitely him.” The victim stated Scholes wanted to kill himself and worried that he knew where she lived and “where the bus drops me off.”
Psychologist Rosemary Piper, a mental health clinician at LCCC, stated that Scholes has been extremely remorseful about the impact the assault has had on the victim and realizes the victim will never have a normal life.
Psychologist Martin Atrops believed Scholes had pled guilty “in a global way but I haven’t walked through the events with him.” Atrops said he did not believe Scholes was ready to move on to treatment because he hadn’t remembered all the aspects of the assault.
Seid’s witness, licensed psychiatrist Mark McClung, a specialist in sex offenders programs, stated that the event would be unlikely to occur again.
McClung based his conclusions on interviews with Scholes, his ex-wife, and girlfriend as well as Scholes’ medical history. Women in Sholes life said he was not violent.
McClung said “The event was impulsive, that the duct tape was already in the car as part of survival equipment for skiing.”
McClung believed Scholes does suffer from bipolar disorder, which was affected by the stoppage of steroids, a bad prescription interaction, drinking an energy drink, his girlfriend being out of town for the first time and narcissistic tendencies.
McClung thought for a while before answering Seid’s question about whether Scholes could be successfully treated in an outpatient program, and said, “I think with adequate safeguards.”
Safeguards included random drug tests, lie detector tests and a safe bipolar drug.
The fact that his bipolar disorder has been managed for over a year since the attack and his taking accountability was another factor in Scholes favor according to McClung.
“Full accountability isn’t always seen in the beginning of a sex offenders program.”
McClung stated that a bipolar patient doesn’t adequately evaluate their own feelings, but those close to them see it more clearly.
Kemp asked how many interviews McClung had with Scholes and discovered in the one five-hour interview McClung did not interview any other family members besides Scholes wife.
“It would have been helpful to interview his biological parents,” McClung said.
McClung believed there may have been some areas in the interview during which Scholes was not being truthful at all times.
McClung also described an earlier rejection of Scholes by a pregnant girlfriend and her family as not significant to his evaluation and a classic reaction to the situation.
McClung stated the possibility exists that Scholes will once again not take his medication, and that Scholes compliance is important to his rehabilitation.
The hour of the evening caused Pallenberg to reconvene at 9 a.m. today.
• Contact Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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