Victim files civil suit against Schneider after controversial no-jail plea deal
While Justin Schneider escaped jail time through a plea deal in his criminal case, he was met with ire and condemnation in the court of public opinion. He now faces consequences in civil court for his brazen and brutal assault on an Alaska Native woman.
A civil lawsuit filed this week by his victim, identified as "Jane Doe," calls for the court to award her damages against Schneider as well as the cost of attorney's fees and litigation.
In August 2017, then 33-year-old Schneider lured the now 26-year-old woman into his car with the promise of a ride to Muldoon, then took her to a dead-end road in a Turnagain neighborhood where he strangled her unconscious and masturbated on her.
Through a now notorious and widely criticized plea deal, Schneider received credit for time served on an electronic ankle monitor and faced no additional time in jail.
A rare grassroots movement calling on voters to remove presiding Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Corey from the bench prevailed, with 53 percent of voters choosing not to retain him in the Nov. 6 election.
Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Andrew Grannik, who referred to the outcome of the case in court as what could be considered "one pass" for Schneider, has also faced considerable public outrage.
While judges and prosecutors have immunity from civil lawsuits, the complaint filed on behalf of Jane Doe offers heavy criticism of the Department of Law's handling of the case, claiming insufficient efforts were made to contact Schneider's victim before accepting the plea deal.
15. The Office of the Attorney General states that it radically reduced the charges against Schneider this because Jane Doe was unreachable and was unavailable to be a witness. This is false: Jane Doe is — and was always — reachable, and she is — and always was — willing to be a witness.
16. Jane Doe believes that the Office of the Attorney General reduced the charges against Schneider because he was a well-do to (sic) Caucasian man with ample resources and powerful connections, whereas she was a young, low-income Native woman.
The document says Jane Doe did everything she could to cooperate, including testifying before a grand jury and providing prosecutors with multiple telephone numbers and an email address.
During the hearing, Grannik told Judge Corey he had attempted to call the victim, saying they tried to call and received a "caller not available" message. He said reasonable attempts to make contact with the victim were made.
Anchorage District Attorney Richard Allen has publicly defended Grannik, calling him one of the toughest criminal prosecutors in the state.
A request sent on Oct. 26 for further information about the victim notification process went unanswered.
The Department of Law has pointed to a "loophole" in Alaska law that did not allow prosecutors to charge Schneider with a sex crime as the reason for the outcome of his case that has been widely viewed as "unjust."
According to the civil suit, Schneider's victim believes he assaulted "many" women before her and that he is a "serial sexual predator."
Schneider has not filed a response to the lawsuit.
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