The Associated Press
September 25, 2018
By Dan Joling
A man drove an Alaska Native woman to a dark street, said he would kill her and choked her until she blacked out.
He then masturbated on her face. Originally charged with kidnapping, 34-year-old Justin Schneider pleaded guilty to a single count of felony assault in a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced last week to two years in prison with one year suspended.
Having already spent a year in home confinement, he stepped out of the courtroom with no more time to serve.
The case has stirred outrage, with victims’ advocates pointing to it as another example of a lenient sentence for a crime against women amid the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct. The judge said he thought the sentence was too light but deferred to prosecutors on what could be proven at trial.
Advocates are pushing to oust Superior Court Judge Michael Corey in November when he faces a vote to keep him on the bench, months after a successful recall of a California judge who sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in prison for sexual assault.
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, an independent facing re-election, vows to change state law that does not classify Schneider’s actions as a sex crime.
“The punishment in this case in no way matched the severity of the crime,” Walker said in a statement. “We must fix this problem immediately, and we will.”
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