Sex offender in court on rape charge

Accused could face up to 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted

Posted: Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Marcus Willard, 27, appeared in court Tuesday on a first-degree sexual assault charge.

The convicted sex offender could face up to 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the new charge, handed down in a grand jury indictment Friday, Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks told him Tuesday.

Juneau Police Capt. Tom Porter said Tuesday that the investigation began on May 21, when a 36-year-old woman called police alleging she had been forced to have sex the night before in a car in the Mendenhall Valley.

Willard told Weeks on Tuesday that he had been in jail for almost six months. Court records show he was arrested on a drunken driving charge in the early hours of May 22. At the time, he was on probation for a 1999 burglary, as well as a 2001 sexual assault.

In March 2002, Willard agreed to plead guilty to third-degree sexual assault from the previous year. The indictment originally charged second-degree sexual assault, accusing Willard of having sexual intercourse with a woman who had passed out at a party on Sept. 15, 2001.

He pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual assault, accusing him of having sexual contact, but not intercourse, with the woman.

The conviction left him with a requirement to register as a sex offender.

Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins imposed two years and six months in prison. She sentenced Willard to four years with two suspended for the assault and added six months, for violating his probation on the first-degree burglary charge.

The July 29,1999, burglary originally was investigated as a sexual assault. Charges alleging third-degree sexual assault and third-degree sexual abuse of a minor were dismissed, according to court records.

Willard, who was 21 at the time of the incident, was accused of breaking into a boat anchored in Harris Harbor and assaulting a 15-year-old girl on board. The girl described an assailant to police. Willard, who was hitchhiking at 12th Street and Egan Drive, matched the description, the Empire reported at the time.

Two months ago, Collins sentenced Willard to serve an additional year for violating his probation with the drunken-driving conviction. She ordered him to serve nine months suspended from the 1999 case and three months suspended from the 2001 case.

She recommended the Department of Corrections place him in treatment programs for alcohol abuse and sex offenders.

Tuesday, Weeks appointed the Office of Public Advocacy to represent Willard. With no one in court to represent Willard on Tuesday, Weeks scheduled the arraignment to be continued on Friday.

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



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