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Press Release

Kotzebue Man Sentenced to 36 Years for 2014 Sexual Assault

October 21, 2016

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) On Friday, October 21, 2016, Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton sentenced John Douglas, age 30, originally from Kotzebue, to serve 36 years for a 2014 sexual assault of a partially-disabled woman.

The Anchorage Police Department arrested Douglas in May 2014 after he grabbed a woman at mid-day in the lobby of a 5th Avenue office building. The woman was partially disabled due to a previous serious auto collision. She was walking slowly to an appointment in the office building. Prosecutor James Fayette argued that Douglas targeted her for this reason. Douglas grabbed the woman's breasts and crotch, tried to pull down her pants, and tried to force her into the stairwell. Douglas' assault was thwarted by nearby office workers at an advertising agency in the building who heard the woman scream, and chased Douglas down as he ran away.

Douglas was convicted of second degree sexual assault after a May 2016 trial. At sentencing, the victim told Judge Wolverton that she experienced abdominal bleeding and pain for weeks after the assault. She also told Douglas that she forgave him and prayed for him.

At sentencing, Mr. Fayette reviewed Douglas's multiple prior sexual assault offenses -- which included sexual assaults upon family members -- and stated that the specter of Douglas's future victims haunted the courtroom. "Douglas's future crimes are predictable," he said.

Judge Wolverton reviewed Douglas' record, which included episodes of animal cruelty, a jailhouse assault, a juvenile record, and a first degree sexual assault conviction in Kotzebue in 2005. He found there had been multiple attempts at rehabilitation and intervention, which had resulted in no positive effect. 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. He noted that at the time of the 2014 assault, Douglas had only been out of jail one day since his release from his most recent parole violation. Judge Wolverton stated that isolation was the most important sentencing factor, which the judge said, was a "rare" finding.

Judge Wolverton sentenced Douglas to 60 years with 30 suspended (30 in prison) and 10 years on probation for the 2014 assault. He added a consecutive six years for the probation violation from the 2005 case resulting in a composite of 36 years in jail.

CONTACT: Assistant District Attorney Jay Fayette at (907) 269-6300 or james.fayette@alaska.gov

More information about the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office is available at http://www.law.alaska.gov/department/criminal/adao.html.

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