Pilgram family patriarch indicted on sex charges

Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2005

ANCHORAGE - The patriarch of a family that has a running feud with the National Park Service over access to their property inside Wrangell-St. Elias National Park has been charged with numerous counts of sexual assault and incest.

Robert Allen Hale, 64, who goes by the name of Papa Pilgrim, was indicted Thursday by a state grand jury in Palmer on 30 felony counts, including 10 counts of sexual assault, one count of kidnapping, eight counts of incest, eight counts of coercion, and three counts of assault, Alaska State Troopers said.

Hale remained at large Monday. "He could be anywhere," said Alaska States Troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson.

Hale's wife, Country Rose Hale, said family members cooperated in the investigation.

"We're just trying to do everything we can to support them," she told The Associated Press on Monday.

Troopers said the alleged crimes covered eight years, but she declined to confirm the length of the investigation or her breadth of knowledge of the alleged crimes.

"Those are the kind of questions I don't want to answer right now," she said.

"We're sorry. We just appreciate the prayers of many thousands of people out there that could help us get through all this," she said. "God is on the throne and he's going to forgive Papa for the things he's done wrong."

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