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Alaska – Man pleads not guilty to 46 felony child-molestation charges

By Tony Carroll – Juneau Empire

A man charged with 46 sex felonies involving children was scheduled for a November trial after his attorney entered please of not guilty to all counts.  Donald J Chase, 47, didn’t speak at the arraignment before Juneau Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks.  His attorney, David Mallet, appeared via telephone from Washington State.   Chase returned to the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.  Weeks let his bail stand at $1000, 000.  A grand jury indictment on Friday, charged Chase with 45 counts of first – degree sexual abuse of a minor, one count of second – degree sexual abuse of a minor, and one count of third – degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.  State Troopers arrested him on a warrant later that day.

All the incidents were alleged to have occurred between 1990 and 1999 in or near Gustavus.  The drug charge and 44 of the first – degree sexual abuse charges alleged to relate to a woman, now 22, who was 7 or 8 at the time of the first abuse.  The victim was as old as 14 when incident of sexual abuse were alleged to have occurred, according to the indictment.  The drug charge alleges that Chase provided her with Marijuana when she was 13.  Two charges in the indictment – one first – degree and one second – degree sexual abuse concerned a girl, now 17, who allegedly was fondled at age 9 and the victim of penetration at age 12.

In June 2002, Chase pleaded guilty to a charge of third – degree sexual abuse of a minor, resolving a case in which he originally was charged with the crime in the first degree stemming from an incident in 1995 in Gustavus.  The victim is now 20.  Mallet requested a jury trial on the new charges.  Weeks set the trail for the 22nd November but noted that the case had been assigned to Judge Patricia Collins.  Mallet said he will probably file a motion seeking to disqualify Judge Collins.  Collins presided over Chase’s previous sexual-abuse case.  According to court records, she said she had concerns about the agreed-upon plea and sentence, which required Chase to serve one year in Jail and five years on probation.

Collins said she believed the victim’s account of what had happened in the case, according to court records.  The victim had testified at the sentencing hearing, saying that she would have to live with the consequences of Chase’s actions for the rest of her life.

 
 

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