With a courtroom audience that included representatives from the school district, board of education and family of the alleged victim, accused rapist and former teacher Jeremy Anderson appeared in Kenai Superior Court in person, for the first time since his attempted suicide when allegations surfaced in May.
Anderson, 37, sat chained to a row of other in-custody cases being heard by Judge Carl Bauman on Tuesday. He was clean cut, took the time to smile and nod at several in the audience before conferring with his defense attorney before his case was heard.
Under his yellow jumpsuit, Anderson bore no outward signs of the physical trauma he’d inflicted upon himself after one of his students confessed to another teacher that she had a sexual relationship with him. Alaska State Troopers would not identify the injuries, but called them “life threatening” after he was taken to Central Peninsula Hospital and then to Anchorage for treatment.
The former Nikiski Middle-High School choir director and music teacher faces 16 counts of sexual abuse in varying degrees.
Anderson waived a formal reading of the charges, which include allegations of several incidents with the teen, from fondling in the school’s choir and band rooms to more than a dozen sexual encounters over a 6-month period in 2013 and 2014.
Anderson’s lawyer entered a not-guilty plea to each of the charges.
Currently, the case is scheduled to go to trial on Jan. 6 and a hearing is scheduled for Dec. 19 which is the last day any motions can be filed in the case.
Anderson faces 14 charges of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and two charges of second-degree abuse of a minor.
First degree sexual abuse is an unclassified felony. If he is convicted, he faces up to $500,000 in fines and 99 years in prison for each charge. Second-degree abuse of a minor is a class B felony which is punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment and up to $100,000 in fines, per charge.