Man charged with 13 counts of sexual abuse

Bail reduced for defendant who had asked court to be released with no bail; trial set for August

Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A 24-year-old man had his bail set at $40,000 on Monday at Dimond Courthouse in Juneau on 13 felony sexual abuse counts.

Richard Hunt Jr. pleaded not guilty last week after being indicted by a grand jury earlier this month on six felony counts of sexual assault and seven counts of sexual abuse of a minor. He is being charged in Sitka Superior Court but is being held in the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

According to the charging documents, Hunt knowingly engaged in sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl in Angoon without her consent on several occasions between April and August of 2008. The documents allege that he did the same with a different 15-year-old girl from Angoon during the same time frame.

Hunt's bail was originally set at $100,000 when he was arrested earlier this month. His attorney had argued for him to be released with no bail to a third party custodian.

Assistant District Attorney Julie Willoughby said in court that the charges "couldn't be much more serious" and argued against Hunt's release on no bail. She said his past criminal record included charges of larceny, criminal trespassing, theft, violation of conditions of release and failure to appear in court.

Hunt's 19-year-old girlfriend and her father testified on his behalf on Monday, asking the court to assign them as his custodians.

Judge Patricia Collins denied the girlfriend's request, saying she is not prepared to have a significant other take responsibility.

Collins did allow the girlfriend's father to be a third party custodian, however, she denied the defendant's request to be released on no bail. Instead she reduced the bail to $10,000 cash and $30,000 is bondable. Collins said the bail was "still very significant" given Hunt's past criminal record.

Hunt, with his attorney appearing over the phone, told Collins that he didn't understand why the bail had to be cash and said most people couldn't afford such a large sum of cash.

"I'm not going to argue with you," Collins replied before going off record.

A trial will begin in Angoon on Aug. 10.

In other court related news:

• A 55-year-old man was indicted by a grand jury on three felony sexual abuse charges on Friday.

• Rodrigo U. Sagrado, Sr. has been charged with one count of sexual assault in the first degree and two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree. The charging document alleges that on or between Nov. 1 and Dec. 5, 2007, that Sagrado had sexual contact in Juneau with a girl that was 15 years old at the time.

• Starla M. Miller, 49, was indicted by a grand jury on a felony charge of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree on Friday. The charging document alleges she knowingly and unlawfully engaged in sexual contact with a 9-year-old on June 24, 2008, in Juneau.

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