State Briefs

Posted: Sunday, July 27, 2003

Police suggest car doors be locked

JUNEAU - A series of vehicle burglaries in the Mendenhall Valley last week shows that even in a low-crime residential area people need to be lock their doors, police spokesman Capt. Tom Porter said.

Thursday, at least four vehicles were broken into in the area of Wood Duck Avenue and Mendenhall Boulevard, police reported. Nothing was taken from one car that was rifled through, but compact discs were reported stolen from three. One of the vehicles was locked, but "we don't know how many locked vehicles they didn't try to force entry into," Porter said.

Vehicle burglaries often are a crime of opportunity in which the perpetrators want to get in and out as quickly and quietly as they can, police said. Locked doors can be a deterrent.

Cellular telephones and compact discs are frequent targets and frequently left in cars, Porter said.

Clerk pleads no contest to alcohol charge

JUNEAU - A store clerk who was charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor was fined and placed on probation after pleading no contest to the misdemeanor charge Thursday.

Robert E. Lee, 28, was the only person initially charged after Juneau police, in cooperation with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, checked nine businesses on July 19 to see if they would sell alcohol to customers under 21.

Juneau District Magistrate John W. Sivertsen Jr. fined Lee $500 and placed him on probation for one year.

Cruise passenger charged with 3 counts of sexual assault

JUNEAU - A Juneau grand jury on Friday indicted a tourist from Mexico on three counts alleging first-degree sexual assault of a woman who was a passenger on the same cruise earlier this month.

Guillermo R. Orozco, 28, remained in the Lemon Creek Correctional Center on Friday. At his court appearance July 17, Juneau District Judge Peter B. Froehlich set Orozco's bail at $100,000.

The indictment alleges that Orozco sexually assaulted the woman three times on July 16. The original criminal complaint and Alaska State Trooper reports stated that the alleged victim, a 22-year-old woman from El Paso, Texas, was helping Orozco back to his room on the Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas.

The woman reported to authorities that Orozco pulled her into his room and forced sexual intercourse on her multiple times while the ship was on its way from Glacier Bay to Skagway, where Orozco was taken into custody.

Man gets nine years in child porn case

FAIRBANKS - A North Pole man has been sentenced to nine years in prison on charges he took pornographic photographs of four minor teenage boys and molested two of them.

Theodore Jenkins Jr., 30, was sentenced Thursday by Fairbanks Superior Court Judge Charles Pengilly. The judge issued the maximum sentence assigned under a plea agreement.

Alaska State Troopers started investigating Jenkins in June 2002 after receiving a report that he was photographing a nude family member and saving the digital pictures on computer discs.

Jenkins was indicted on 41 felony charges ranging from sexual abuse of a minor to viewing indecent photography, with troopers reporting that four victims were either photographed or molested.

He reached a plea agreement in February that resulted in the dismissal of all but seven of the charges filed against him.

Court: state not liable in freezing death

ANCHORAGE - The state Supreme Court has reversed a judgment against the state involving the freezing death of a family on the Denali Highway seven years ago.

In a decision rendered Friday the high court said Alaska State Troopers exercised an allowable amount of discretion concerning how and when to begin searching for Anchorage residents Palmer Olrun, his wife, Leah, and their 2-year-old grandson Ethan. And discretion in the ways of handling a search is immune from liability, the court ruled.

The Olruns died after becoming stranded while driving the Interior highway in January 1996.

Their daughter reported them missing four days after they left Anchorage on Jan. 11. She had told Anchorage police that their destination may have been south, toward Seward or Homer.

Hunters found the abandoned car and reported it to troopers on Jan. 15, but a search wasn't launched until Jan. 17.

The Olruns were found dead early the following day.

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