Local prison officials are notifying Juneau schools and law enforcement agencies about a scheduled release Wednesday of Jack Leck II, convicted on six counts of child molestation nearly 20 years ago.
The state Department of Corrections has alerted nine agencies of Leck's release, including the police, Boy Scouts, a video-game arcade and the Juneau School District. Schools Superintendent Gary Bader wrote in a June memo that a probation officer warned the district that Leck is dangerous and a predator of 12- to 14-year-old boys, luring them with candy, alcohol and drugs.
"The police department has advised us that they feel this individual will strike again," wrote Bader in a memo to managers of RALLY, a child-care and education program run by the schools.
Leck, now 49, was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor in 1984 and 1985 after police searched his Anchorage home and found pornographic photos of nude boys from Anchorage and Fairbanks. Police later established Leck molested the boys.
Police also seized explosives and weapons in the raid, said retired Sgt. John Strutko, who worked the case for the Anchorage Police Department. Strutko said Leck was not allowed to have weapons because he was convicted of a felony in the Lower 48. State and federal law prohibits felons from possessing weapons.
Leck's criminal record outside Alaska includes convictions for felony forgery and bestiality plus arrests for sex and weapons offenses, according to a 1984 Anchorage police report. Leck has the number 666 tattooed on his wrist and put his name as "Sattan Shiva DRACULA" on his 1970s California driver's license, according to the report, which also noted police saw Leck with teen-age boys in video-game arcades.
Leck served 12 years for his crimes in Alaska and was released in Anchorage on parole in 1996. But police arrested Leck again in 1997 for keeping company with minors - a parole violation since Leck was not allowed to be around kids, said Corrections Commissioner Margaret Pugh. He was sent to prison again and transferred to the Lemon Creek Correctional Center in 2000. Pugh said the state has to release Leck because he has served his time but that the state will supervise him through May 2003.
"Is there reason to be concerned? Yes, past history tells us there is," Pugh said. But "we will be working with this offender and I want the public to feel protected."
In a state risk assessment evaluation that ranks inmates minimum, medium or maximum, Leck ranked maximum, Pugh said. The state will make scheduled and unscheduled visits to Leck's home and workplace, once employed, at least twice a month, probably more often, Pugh said. Although Leck did not undergo psychiatric treatment in prison for his sex crimes, a parole board made treatment mandatory upon his release, she said.
Pugh stopped short of saying Leck was more dangerous than about 50 other sex offenders in Juneau's state prison, but Strutko, the police sergeant, and another source said Leck is more worrisome than many other pedophiles.
"I think he's sadistic and I think he's a predator," said a source close to the Anchorage investigation who asked for anonymity. "He's got a propensity toward weapons, explosives - couple that with his satanic beliefs and desire for young boys - there's a lot of potential for more serious things than what he's actually charged with."
The source also noted Leck is a locksmith and "can get in anywhere." Strutko said he retired from the Anchorage police department in 1984 but took a copy of Leck's file with him after the convict threatened his life. Strutko advised his father to point police toward Leck if he, Strutko, died in an explosion.
"He was the only man who threatened me who I took serious," said Strutko, who has since moved and wants his new location kept confidential.
Anchorage police first took notice of Leck in the early 1980s after receiving tips he was "messing with boys" and a convicted felon in the Lower 48, Strutko said. As a felon, Leck was not allowed to possess a weapon, but he was hired by an Anchorage security firm as an armed guard.
Detectives working undercover established a relationship with Leck, who told them he had an UZI converted to a submachine gun plus other weapons and "goodies" stockpiled in his apartment in case the Russians invaded, according to an Anchorage police report, which noted Leck considered himself a mercenary. During a search of Leck's home, police seized several guns, ammunition, the pornographic photos of boys and some explosives, the report said. The Anchorage Times reported in 1984 police found about 6 pounds of plastic-type explosives tentatively identified as C-7. It takes only 2 pounds of C-7 to blow up a car and seriously maim or kill any occupants, the paper reported.
Prison superintendent Dan Carothers has spoken with Leck and called him "relatively sophisticated ... up front and blunt." Leck declined the Empire's request for an interview, but Carothers said Leck told him he intended to move to Anchorage upon release.
"I told him that's a good idea," Carothers said.
Once out of prison, Leck is required to register his address with the state, which posts the information plus sex offenders' photographs on the Internet. Leck already is on the list, available on the state's Web site at www.dps.state.ak.us.
The Children's Protection and Advocacy Coalition, a private group in California that tracks sex offenders, also has posted information about Leck on its Web site, including a letter from another person who said Leck threatened her life. Coalition founder Anne Cox cautioned that residents should not harass Leck, saying that could drive him underground.
"The important thing is not to drive him off," Cox said. "By driving them underground, nobody knows where they are."