Arraignment stalled for Soldotna man accused of abuse

The arraignment for a former Soldotna karate teacher accused of the sexual abuse and exploitation of a minor was pushed back to next week.

The hearing began at the Kenai Courthouse on Tuesday, but was continued to Feb. 16 because Michael Dean Hancock, 57, did not yet have a copy of the indictment for the new charges against him.

Hancock was indicted Feb. 3 by a Kenai grand jury on one charge of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, a charge of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and three charges of unlawful exploitation of a minor. These counts followed 13 charges relating to possession and distribution of child pornography for which he was indicted by an Anchorage grand jury in January.

Hancock appeared at the arraignment over the phone, though Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna Moran said an order had been issued to transfer him from Anchorage. Adam Alexander of the Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals, who also appeared telephonically, said defense has been appointed for Hancock for his original case in Anchorage, but that defense has yet to be appointed for the Kenai case.

According to Hancock’s Feb. 3 indictment, the alleged sexual abuse occurred on two separate occasions in 2006, while the minor was 15. The counts of unlawful exploitation are alleged to have taken place in early 2007, when the minor was 16, according to the indictment.

Peninsula Martial Arts on Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna, where Hancock was a karate instructor, was shut down in December.

First-degree sexual abuse of a minor is an unclassified felony, for which Hancock could serve 20-99 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $500,000 if convicted. Second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and unlawful exploitation of a minor are both class B felonies, which carry a punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

The child pornography charges Hancock already faces are a mix of class B and C felonies. Class C felonies carry a punishment of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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