Kotzebue man to serve 36 years in prison for 2014 sexual assault
An Alaska Superior Court judge ruled a Kotzebue man will serve 36 years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman in downtown Anchorage in 2014.
Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth’s office announced the sentence on Friday in a statement. Judge Michael Wolverton sentenced 30-year-old John Douglas to 60 years in prison with 30 suspended, to be followed by a probationary period of 10 years. He tacked on an additional six years in prison, to be served consecutively, for violating probation for a previous sexual assault conviction.
Douglas was convicted in May of second-degree sexual assault for the May 2014 attack. Douglas’ victim was partially disabled by a previous vehicle crash and was walking slowly when the attack occurred.
“Prosecutor James Fayette argued that Douglas targeted her for this reason,” according to the AG’s statement.
Douglas grabbed the woman in a Fifth Avenue building’s lobby and began sexually assaulting her while attempting to force her into a nearby stairwell. Workers in the building heard the woman scream and came to her rescue, and at least one of them chased Douglas until they eventually caught him at the Alaska Court System parking garage at the intersection of Third Avenue and I Street. They held him there until police arrived and arrested him.
The attack was not the first Douglas had been convicted of in recent years and took place only a day after Douglas had been released from jail after violating probation, the AG’s office noted. The statement said Fayette listed multiple prior sexual offenses in court, including a first-degree sexual assault conviction stemming from a 2005 case in Kotzebue.
Wolverton likewise noted other criminal behaviors exhibited by Douglas, including a jailhouse assault and animal cruelty.
“He found there had been multiple attempts at rehabilitation and intervention, which had resulted in no positive effect,” the AG’s office wrote about the hearing. “Judge Wolverton concluded that Douglas was clearly engaged in predatory behavior, and noted that the author of Douglas’s 2005 presentence report concluded that Douglas presented a ‘clear and present danger to the people of the state.’ Judge Wolverton said he agreed with this conclusion.”
The victim testified she experienced abdominal bleeding and pain for weeks after the assault, according to the AG’s office. The victim also reportedly told Douglas she forgave him and prayed for him.
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