Schoonover admits to burglary, not to rape

Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2002

A man accused of breaking into a woman's home last year and sexually assaulting her pleaded guilty to reduced charges Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court.

Ora Schoonover, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree burglary, a felony, stemming from an offense of Nov. 17.

The original charges included second-degree sexual assault, a felony, and third-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor.

The assault and criminal mischief charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement between defense attorney Louis Menendez and District Attorney Rick Svobodny.

The agreement did not include a sentencing recommendation. Schoonover could get up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 11 by Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks.

Schoonover was arrested in November after a woman, whose name was not released, said she woke up to Schoonover having sex with her in her bed, according to court records. When she asked him what he was doing, he got out of bed, used the bathroom and left the house, records said.

Police believed Schoonover got into the house by bending the screens in the woman's bathroom window, the records said.

While Schoonover allegedly confessed to the woman in a police-monitored phone conversation that he broke into her house and touched her, he denied having sex with the woman, the records said.

Schoonover has no prior felony record according to the Alaska court system.

Schoonover has been out on bail since late November. According to court records he has been allowed to leave Juneau as long as he is with a third-party custodian, which has included his brother, father and aunt.

Melanie Plenda can be reached at

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