Jury deliberates sexual assault case

A jury was in deliberations Monday in the case of a cannery worker accused of sexually assaulting his female coworker.

Rosendo Pallones, 40, of Palmer, is charged with three separate counts of first-degree sexual assault last July at the Snug Harbor Seafoods cannery in Kenai.

Pallones waived his right to testify Monday before the jury went into deliberation.

The sexual assault kit performed on the alleged victim was not tested, so a heavier focus fell on circumstantial evidence surrounding the case. Many details were debated, from wall thickness between the rooms and how quickly Pallones left the cannery that night, to the woman’s relationship with him and why he was invited into her room in the first place.

Attorneys argued that it came down to a question of consent and whether it was withdrawn before or after the alleged sexual assault took place.

In closing arguments, District Attorney Kelly Lawson said the consent for a sexual encounter was never there, though the woman maintained a friendly demeanor with Pallones while she laughed off his advances as the night progressed.

Lawson maintained that the woman had made it clear to Pallones that he did not have her consent long before her roommate walked back into the room after a short absence. She referred to his original interview, encouraging the jury to review it during deliberation.

“He didn’t say ‘I stopped when she asked me the first time,’” Lawson said.

According to an affidavit, which details the interview between Pallones and an investigator, Pallones told the investigator the woman was crying and “kept telling (him) ‘no.’”

Andy Pevehouse, defense attorney for Pallones, argued that, at the time of the alleged incident, Pallones had been acting under what he perceived to be consent. That consent was only withdrawn, Pevehouse told the jury, after the woman’s roommate walked into the room, at which point Pallones claims he did stop.

Pevehouse maintained that it is not breaking the law if a man “begins an act thinking he has a green light,” finds out it’s a “red light” and then ceases the act.

Pevehouse also brought up inconsistencies between the alleged victim’s testimony in court and testimony before a grand jury months earlier, as well as inconsistencies between her account of her relationship with Pallones prior to the night of the incident and the accounts given by several witnesses.

He pointed out that, in interviews leading up to the trial, the woman had been giggling, laughing off the subject matter and in other ways not appearing to take the matter seriously.

“We’re certainly not here to say that sexual assault is funny,” Pevehouse said in closing. “What I am here to say is that you have to look at … the evolution of the story. I submit that you should be suspicious; you should wonder why she’s reacting that way.”

If convicted, Pallones faces a sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

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

More in News

A moose is photographed in Kalifornsky, Alaska, in July 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Illegal moose harvest down from past 5 years

The large majority of moose this year were harvested from North and South Kasilof River areas.

Renee Behymer and Katelyn Behymer (right) of Anchorage win this week’s vaccine lottery college scholarship sweepstakes. (Photo provided)
Dillingham and Anchorage residents win 6th vaccine lottery

“Get it done,” one winner said. “Protect us all, protect our elders and our grandchildren.”

Kenai Vice Mayor and council member Bob Molloy (center), council member Jim Glendening (right), council member Victoria Askin (far right), and council member Henry Knackstedt (far left) participate in a work session discussing the overhaul of Kenai election codes on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska.
Kenai City Council gives sendoffs, certifies election results

Both council members-elect — Deborah Sounart and James Baisden — attended Wednesday.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
COVID is No. 3 underlying cause of death among Alaskans so far this year

The virus accounted for about 7.5% of all underlying causes of death after a review of death certificates.

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives during a floor debate on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, over an appropriations bill during the Legislature’s third special session of the summer. Multiple organizations reported on Wednesday that Eastman is a lifetime member of the far-right organization the Oath Keepers. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Data leak shows state rep is member of far-right organization

Wasilla area lawmaker said he joined when Oath Keepers first started.

Christine Hutchison, who lives in Kenai and also serves on the Kenai Harbor Commission, testifies in support of the use of alternative treatments for COVID-19 during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Medical liberty’ petition brought to Kenai City Council

Some members of the public and Kenai City Council spoke against health mandates and in support of alternative treatments for COVID-19

Amber Kraxberger-Linson, a member of Trout Unlimited and streamwatch coordinator for the Chugach National Forest, works in the field in this undated photo. Kraxberger-Linson will be discussing at the Saturday, Oct. 23 International Fly Fishing Film Festival the organization’s educational programming for next summer. (Photo provided by Trout Unlimited)
Out on the water — and on the screen

Trout Unlimited to host fly fishing film festival Saturday.

This screen capture from surveillance footage released by the Anchorage Police Department shows a masked man vandalizing the Alaska Jewish Museum in Anchorage in May. (Courtesy photo / APD)
Museums statewide condemn antisemitic vandalism

Two incidents, one in May, one in September, have marred the museum this year.

Three speech language pathologists with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District were recognized for excellence during the Alaska Speech-Language-Hearing Association last month. (Kenai Peninsula Borough School District)
Peninsula speech language therapists awarded for excellence

“I was very honored to be recognized by my peers and colleagues,” Evans said in an interview with the Clarion.

Most Read