Unregistered sex offender charged with sexual assault

Posted: Friday, May 07, 2004

A man charged with sexually assaulting an elderly Hoonah woman in April was alleged after his arrest to be an unregistered sex offender.

Paul N. Wright, 54, was arraigned in Juneau Superior Court on Wednesday on felony charges of first-degree failure to register as a sex offender as well as second-degree sexual assault and a misdemeanor charge of first-degree criminal trespass.

His attorney, Robert Meachum, entered not-guilty pleas to all charges on his behalf.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks scheduled Wright's trial for July 12. He ordered Wright's bail for pretrial release from the Lemon Creek Correctional Center to continue at $10,000.

Hoonah Police Lt. William Mills told the Empire it wasn't the alleged victim in the case that reported she was assaulted, but her grandson.

Mills said the elderly woman slept with valuables tied in a bag around her neck. On April 23, she awoke to find a man was in her apartment fondling her.

Mills said she didn't call police. He said the intruder passed out inside her apartment, and she called her grandson to remove him. The grandson later called police.

The investigation led to Wright's arrest several days later, Mills said.

He said he believes Wright originally was from Hoonah and he returned to community in March.

The state's Internet database for sex-offender registration says Wright is out of compliance with his registration. His last known address is listed as Anchorage.

The database also shows he was convicted of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor in Sitka in 1989.

Mills said Wright was charged with felony first-degree failure to register as a sex offender because, if convicted, it would be his second such offense.

Late Thursday, Wright remained in custody at the state prison.

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