A former Nikiski teacher accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting one of his students has had his trial pushed back to mid-August due to his lawyer’s busy schedule and a pending request for more information about the victim.
During a Tuesday omnibus hearing, assistant public advocate DinaMarie Cale told Kenai Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman that she couldn’t see the case going to trial before the “end of summer.”
Former Nikiski Middle-High School music teacher Jeremy Anderson faces 16 counts of sexual abuse in varying degrees. The charges include allegations of more than a dozen sexual encounters over a 6-month period in 2013 and 2014.
Anderson was charged after a May 8 phone call to Alaska State Troopers regarding a suicidal male and allegations that Anderson had been sexually assaulting a female student.
Cale said she had several high-profile cases to argue over the summer, including a murder trial and another sexual assault of a minor case involving a Sterling woman.
The victim’s mother was visibly upset when Cale, who appeared telephonically, asked for the trial to be pushed back by several months.
“My issue is, we want closure. We would like to see this trial happen, it has already been over seven months,” she said after Bauman asked for her opinion. “My daughter deserves closure.”
Bauman said that he understood the victim’s need for closure, but that Anderson had rights as well.
“We could go through trial, your daughter could be on the stand in front of a jury for an extended period of time and the trial gets overturned because ‘oh, the defense attorney wasn’t allowed proper time to prepare … then we go through a new trial in a year or two and the process repeats.”
Anderson is currently scheduled to go to trial August 17 and has a status hearing on April 10 at 2:30 p.m. in Kenai.
Reach Rashah McChesney at firstname.lastname@example.org.