State Briefs

Posted: Sunday, May 25, 2003

Judge declares mistrial in Juneau rape case

JUNEAU - A Juneau judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a man accused of raping two teenage girls last year.

The jury could not reach a verdict Thursday, which forced Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks to declare the mistrial.

Michael Roberts, 34, was charged with one count of sexual assault, two counts of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The charges stem from alleged incidents in May 2002 involving one of the 15-year-old girls.

Roberts also was charged with four counts of sexual abuse of a minor stemming from alleged incidents in May 2002 with the other 15-year-old girl.

The jury went into deliberations Wednesday afternoon and came back Thursday afternoon deadlocked.

District Attorney Rick Svobodny said he hasn't decided whether to retry Roberts.

Fairbanks fugitive to appear in federal court

FAIRBANKS - Former Fairbanks civic leader Thomas Miklautsch is scheduled to appear in federal court in Anchorage on Tuesday to face bank fraud and other charges.

The 77-year-old former banker is facing 15 felony counts stemming from a 1995 indictment of Alaska Statebank executives. He is in custody at Cook Inlet Pre-Trial Facility in Anchorage.

Each count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler, lead prosecutor in the case.

Miklautsch had been missing about a decade when he was arrested by customs agents April 30 at Los Angeles International Airport. He was entering the country from Switzerland.

He was among five executives of now-defunct Alaska Statebank who were accused of using insider loans to try to take over rival Alaska National Bank of the North in the 1980s.

Miklautsch, a former Fairbanks city councilman, vanished before the indictments.

Man injured in cycle accident dies

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man who was injured in a motorcycle accident over the weekend has died.

Frank A. Ciccone, 29, died at Providence Alaska Medical Center on Wednesday, police said.

On Sunday afternoon, Ciccone lost control of his motorcycle on a South Anchorage street. Ciccone hit a curb and was ejected into the light pole, police said.

He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, police said.

Man accused of trying to board plane knives

BELLINGHAM - A man apparently headed to Bristol Bay was arrested by FBI agents at the Bellingham airport Friday after he showed security screeners two pocketknives he was carrying and a small "seal bomb" was found in his checked bag.

Authorities said it did not appear that Ricky Reed, 43, of Bellingham, had any plans to bring down the plane.

Reed was charged with one count of attempting to carry a concealed weapon on an aircraft and one count of attempting to place a bomb on board an aircraft, said John Hartingh, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

When asked about his pocketknives by screeners at the small airport just south of the Canadian border, he said, "What's the matter, do you think I'm going to hijack the plane or something?" according to Whatcom County sheriff's Deputy Jeff Parks.

Reed arrived late for Alaska Airlines Flight 2119 to Seattle on Friday morning and took out his pocketknives at a passenger-screening area around 8:30 a.m., when screeners asked if he had any weapons, according to Parks.

Deputies pulled him aside, consulted with an airline supervisor and decided to search Reed's checked bag.

Inside it, they found a "seal bomb," equivalent to about one-quarter stick of dynamite, which fishermen use to scare seals away from fishing grounds.

Reed initially denied knowing about the bomb. At first, officials said, he claimed his wife had packed his bag, then acknowledged he knew the device was in his bag.

Deputies called in FBI agents, who arrested Reed for investigation of possessing an explosive device, Sheriff Bill Elfos said.

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