Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Michael Dean Hancock is led out of the courtroom Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 at after his change of plea hearing at the Kenai Courthouse.  The former Soldotna area karate teacher pleaded guilty to second degree sexual abuse of a minor and unlawful exploitation of a minor in a plea agreement tied to his case in Anchorage, where he faces charges of child pornography.

Photo by Megan Pacer/Peninsula Clarion Michael Dean Hancock is led out of the courtroom Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 at after his change of plea hearing at the Kenai Courthouse. The former Soldotna area karate teacher pleaded guilty to second degree sexual abuse of a minor and unlawful exploitation of a minor in a plea agreement tied to his case in Anchorage, where he faces charges of child pornography.

Former karate teacher pleads guilty to sex abuse

A Soldotna man has changed his plea in a sexual abuse of a minor case and accepted an agreement that is also tied to his criminal case in Anchorage.

Michael Dean Hancock, 58, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree and one count of unlawful exploitation of a minor during a Friday hearing at the Kenai Courthouse. Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna Moran accepted his plea, and Hancock was jailed with the understanding that he will most likely need to be transported to Anchorage next week for a change of plea hearing he has scheduled in his other case.

Hancock was indicted on Feb. 3 this year on a count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, an unclassified felony, and a count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, a class B felony, for events that took place in 2006 with a girl who was under 16 at the time, according to the indictment. He was also indicted in February on three counts of unlawful exploitation of a minor, class B felonies, in relation to more than 80 files labeled with his victim’s name found on his computer, according to the indictment. These charges came down after he had already been indicted in January in Anchorage on 13 counts relating to child pornography.

Peninsula Martial Arts on Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna, where Hancock taught, has been closed since late December.

Hancock entered guilty pleas Friday for the count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and the single count of unlawful exploitation. The other charges listed in the indictment will be dismissed, according to the agreement reached by Adam Alexander, the prosecutor for both cases from the Office of Special Prosecutions in Anchorage, and Hancock’s defense attorney for the Kenai case, Bill Taylor.

Moran emphasized that, if for some reason the judge in Hancock’s Anchorage case rejects the plea agreement, Hancock can revert his plea in the Kenai case to not guilty because the pleas for both cases are a package deal.

“I don’t anticipate the Anchorage court rejecting the plea agreement between the parties,” Alexander said. “… The parties would be back at square one.”

Because the events that led to the charges happened in 2006, Hancock’s sentence is subject to what the presumptive sentencing ranges were for those crimes at that time, Taylor said. The presumptive range Hancock will face for each charge is two to four years imprisonment. According to the plea agreement, both the state and defense are waiving their right to argue aggravators or mitigators when it comes to Hancock’s later sentencing, which was scheduled in the Kenai case for November.

Though the other charges made against Hancock are being dismissed, Moran will still be able to consider his other conduct when deciding sentencing, she said.

Before entering his pleas, an emotional Hancock said he was hesitant about what “looms in the future,” but that he wants to face it and move on with his life.

 

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

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