Attorneys offer new resolution to Soldotna sex abuse case

A former Soldotna-area karate teacher who last year pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a minor said he needs more time to consider a new resolution to his case made after a discrepancy was found in the sentencing ranges he originally faced.

Michael Dean Hancock, 58, was indicted on Feb. 3, 2016 on one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor for incidents that allegedly took place in 2006 with a girl who was under 16 at the time, according to the indictment. He was also indicted on three counts of unlawful exploitation of a minor in relation to more than 80 files labeled with the victim’s name found on his computer, according to the indictment.

This indictment came down after Hancock had already been indicted in January 2016 in Anchorage on 13 counts relating to child pornography. Hancock pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of unlawful exploitation of a minor last September in a plea deal reached by his attorneys.

Hancock was scheduled to be sentenced in the Kenai case in January, but Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna Moran found a discrepancy in the way the presumptive sentencing ranges for Hancock were set out in the resolution. He had been set to face two to four years for each of the crimes he pleaded guilty to, based on what sentencing ranges were in 2006, when the crimes were committed. However, Moran found that state statute regarding presumptive sentencing ranges had actually been changed shortly before the crimes Hancock pleaded guilty to were committed, making the actual presumptive ranges five to 15 years.

Hancock said during a Tuesday status hearing at the Kenai Courthouse that he needs more time to consider the new resolution the attorneys in the case have come up with. He is scheduled to be sentenced in the Anchorage case in early April, and the two cases are tied together by the resolution. Hancock said he has no preference as to which case he is sentenced in first, and Moran scheduled another status hearing in the Kenai case for March 21.

June Stein of the Anchorage Office of Criminal Appeals appeared at the hearing over the phone and is the new attorney assigned to Hancock’s case as the former prosecutor, Adam Alexander, was set to leave the Office of Special Prosecutions in Anchorage after Wednesday.

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