Justin Schneider responds to civil suit, denies strangling victim unconscious
The defendant in Alaska's infamous no-jail-time plea deal, Justin Schneider, submitted a public response to the civil suit his victim filed in November.
According to charging documents filed 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.
The lawsuit, filed by Jim Davis with the Northern Justice Project on behalf of the woman 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 a response filed on Monday, Schneider admits to certain allegations in the suit while denying others. He is seeking to have the case dismissed and requesting the court award him the cost of attorney's fees and litigation.
According to his response, the following are statements Schneider agrees with or admits to:
• Schneider is an Anchorage resident
• Schneider tackled, strangled, and ejaculated on Jane Doe
• Schneider returned to his federal job and his family following the assault
• Schneider was indicted on felony kidnapping and assault charges
• Schneider pleaded guilty to 2nd degree assault on Sept. 19, 2018
• Schneider "should have known that if he assaulted or battered or falsely imprisoned Jane Doe, it would cause her severe physical and emotional distress"
• Schneider "with his extreme and outrageous conduct, intentionally or recklessly caused serve (sic) physical injury and emotional distress to Jane Doe"
Schneider denies and/or disagrees with several allegations in Jane Doe's complaint, including:
• Schneider misled Jane Doe before she got into his car
• Schneider misled Jane Doe regarding the destination
• Schneider strangled Jane Doe until she became unconscious
• Police investigated and determined Jane Doe was telling the truth
• Schneider never spent a day in jail
• Jane Doe believes Schneider to be a "serial sexual predator" who has had other victims before her
• Schneider's plea deal represents a "free pass"
• Schneider's "actions were wanton, willful, and were designed to humiliate, disgrace, and hurt Jane Doe"
Jane Doe's complaint against Schneider reads:
"Astonishingly, Schneider never spent a day in jail. Instead, because he is well-off, and because his parents hold well thought of religious positions in that community, he obtained bail and was released to the "custody" of his parents. He was placed on "home arrest" which, in the case of Schneider, meant that he could stay at his parent's home in Homer and effectively be on vacation and do whatever he wanted to do."
Schneider's response calls the statement "argumentative and incorrect," saying:
"Defendant spent nearly a month in jail and was then released on bail with third-party custodians. The terms of the order or release speak for themselves."
Davis, who is representing Jane Doe, could not be reached for comment immediately Wednesday.
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.
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. The issue is now the subject of proposed legislation for the upcoming legislative session.
In his response, Schneider argues the damages against Jane Doe were, in part, caused by prosecutors, therefore they are the result of the conduct of people other than Schneider.
An initial hearing for the case has not yet been scheduled.
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