Alaska Digest

Staff and Wire reports

Posted: Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Teen to serve 6 years for sex abuse at JDHS

JUNEAU - An 18-year-old man who graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School last spring has been ordered to serve six years in jail after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl the last Friday of the school year.

David A. Northcut left Juneau after police questioned him last June. He was arrested later in the month south of San Diego on a warrant as he tried to re-enter the United States from Mexico.

He agreed in October to plead guilty to one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor. He was originally charged with five felonies stemming from the encounter with the girl, who was in the ninth grade at the time of the May 28 incident in the Marie Drake Annex.

The plea agreement dismissed a second charge of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, two counts of first-degree sexual assault and a count of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor.

Last week, Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins adopted the recommendations of Assistant District Attorney Doug Gardner, imposing 10 years in jail with four years suspended and placing Northcut on probation for 10 years after his release from custody.

Collins also ordered Northcut to pay $51,022 in restitution for the victim's medical and counseling expenses.

She required him to maintain sex-offender registration for 15 years and recommended he be placed in a facility that offers intense sex-offender treatment.

Man gets 30 days for retribution assault

JUNEAU - A man who said a burglary ignored by police led to his altercation with another man in October agreed Monday to plead guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor fourth-degree assault.

Eric John Pokorny, 20, originally was indicted on felony third-degree assault and third-degree criminal mischief charges stemming from the Oct. 6 incident.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins imposed 30 days to serve in jail - 180 days suspended from a 210-day sentence. She also placed Pokorny on probation for one year and gave prosecutors 30 days to file notice of restitution for damages.

"You showed incredibly poor judgment," she told the defendant.

"I'm sorry," Pokorny told Collins. "It won't happen again."

He said he called police after he and his younger brother saw the man burglarizing his house, but he was told they couldn't do anything about it.

Assistant District Attorney Jack Schmidt said his office investigated Pokorny's allegations but the state was unable to prosecute the assault victim.

He said Pokorny pursued the victim's vehicle and struck it with an ice scraping tool.

Police reported after the incident that the victim was bleeding from several minor cuts to his head and was treated for injuries at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Resort offers free lift tickets to Wash. skiers

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage area ski resort is offering free skiing to Washington state residents grounded by a lack of snow.

Skiers holding season passes at closed Washington resorts will receive free lift tickets if they stay at the Alyeska Prince Hotel in Girdwood, resort officials said Tuesday.

The deal also applies to snowboarders with season passes.

Officials say reservations must be made while specific Washington state ski areas are closed.

DOT asks for budget boost of $22 million

JUNEAU - The state Department of Transportation is asking for a $22 million increase in its operating budget for the next fiscal year.

Department officials outlined their request to the House Transportation and Public Facilities Finance subcommittee Tuesday. The $407 million request would include nearly $111 million from the state's general fund.

The spending would cover retirement system cost increases, two new advisory boards and the cost of extending the hours of several airports across the state.

The cost of highway maintenance, services and facility maintenance would also increase under the request.

Deputy Commissioner John MacKinnon told the committee that Alaska's highway miles have been increasing while funding levels have remained flat for several years.

The request includes 38 new full-time positions and two part-time jobs.

The proposal does not include the department's capital budget request.

Chairman Richard Foster, D-Nome, said the department picked the right year to ask for a funding boost, with an oil revenue surplus expected at the end of the fiscal year.

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