ANCHORAGE - A 22-year-old Anchorage man awaiting trial for dismembering and freezing a body has been accused of 23 counts of rape involving another inmate.
Elmer Seetot was arraigned this week, accused of sexually assaulting a cell mate over a five-day period in November and December.
Department of Corrections Commissioner Joe Schmidt told the Anchorage Daily News that everything was done properly the nights the attacks reportedly occurred, including regular half-hour checks of all inmates in their cells.
The Department of Corrections says rapes in its institutions are rare; 72 Alaska inmates were disciplined or arrested on a sex charge involving another prisoner or staff member between 2004 and 2007.
Those numbers apply to the 3,300 inmates housed in Alaska, but not the state's 1,000 prisoners on contract to an Arizona private prison.
The 72 incidents does include those caught engaging in consensual sex, said Alaska corrections spokesman Richard Schmitz. Only two were convicted of a sex crime, Schmitz said.
Cindy Struckman-Johnson, a psychology professor at the University of South Dakota, has extensively researched prison rape.
Nationally, sexual coercion runs run as high as 20 percent in some prisons, she told the Daily News.
Reasons for the coercion run from using sex to act out or retaliate to men who do it just for the sexual pleasure, she said.
She said only about 30 percent of male prison victims report assaults.
Seetot already faces a charge of second-degree murder, accused of killing 38-year-old Terry Lee Jackson with a frying pan.
Jackson's dismembered and frozen remains were found last October in a chest freezer belonging to Seetot's grandmother.