Accused Juneau man faces additional assault charges

Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2003

A Juneau man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a former girlfriend on July 15 faces additional charges of sexually assaulting her almost a week earlier.

A grand jury on Friday returned a nine-count indictment against Harold L. Wheaton Jr., alleging crimes against the same alleged victim on July 9, as well as the allegations that led to his July 30 arrest.

The indictment charges two counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of third-degree assault.

In addition to the felony charges, the grand jury found probable cause to charge Wheaton with four misdemeanors - two counts of fourth-degree assault and two counts of interfering with a report of domestic violence.

Wheaton was being held at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. Thursday, Juneau District Magistrate John W. Sivertsen Jr. denied his request to have his bail reduced from $50,000 to $5,000. Under the proposal, Wheaton would have stayed at his father's residence when he wasn't working.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Sauer told Sivertsen that Wheaton was in jeopardy of losing his job if he could not get out of jail. He added that Wheaton and the alleged victim were involved in a custody battle concerning a child that had been in his client's care. He said that is a substantial reason for the case - "we would allege, all of the case."

"We are hotly contesting the facts of the case," he said.

Sivertsen denied the request, saying the allegations in the original criminal case were "not insignificant." He said he was concerned that Wheaton, if released, could pose a risk to the alleged victim.

The original complaint alleges that on July 15 Wheaton forced the woman into his car, drove her to his residence and forced sexual relations on her, threatening to crush a ring she was wearing with a pair of pliers and threatening her with a handgun.

The indictment returned Friday additionally accuses Wheaton of restraining the alleged victim and forcing her to engage in sexual relations on July 9. It also alleges felony and misdemeanor assaults against the woman on July 9, a misdemeanor assault against her on July 15, and misdemeanor charges of interfering with reports of the alleged domestic violence crimes on July 9 and 15.

Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.



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