Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Jeremy Anderson, former Nikiski Middle-High School student music teacher accused of sexually abusing one of his students, walks out of a Kenai courtroom Tuesday Nov. 25, 2014 in Kenai, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Jeremy Anderson, former Nikiski Middle-High School student music teacher accused of sexually abusing one of his students, walks out of a Kenai courtroom Tuesday Nov. 25, 2014 in Kenai, Alaska.

Nikiski sex abuse case not ready for trial

The trial for a former Nikiski teacher accused of sexual abuse of a minor may be pushed back again.

Jeremy Anderson, a former music teacher at Nikiski Middle-High School, was accused of the abuse in 2014 after troopers alleged he had sex and other sexual contact with a female student, who was 15 at the time, several times over the course of about six months. In all, he faces 14 charges of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and two charges of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor.

At a Wednesday trial call at the Kenai Courthouse, Defense Attorney Dina Cale said she will not be ready for trial until Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman rules on a motion for Anderson’s wife to assert spousal privilege, or immunity. Alaska Court Rule 505 states that, under spousal immunity, husbands and wives can’t be forced to testify against each other without their consent.

According to an affidavit signed by Trooper Investigator Jack LeBlanc, Anderson’s wife was called by troopers on the day in May 2014 that they went to investigate a report of sexual assault at the school. While talking to troopers, she told them “Anderson had called her and stated that he had slept with a student,” and that he was “going a place that no one could find him” to commit suicide, LeBlanc wrote in the affidavit.

“This matter makes a huge difference in my trial strategy and I would like the answer on it before we proceed,” Cale said at the hearing.

Attorney Andy Pevehouse, who filed the motion on behalf of Anderson’s wife, also filed a motion for a pretrial ruling on the matter, which the state has opposed, according to online court records. Pevehouse said on Wednesday that he filed a reply to the state’s opposition, but Bauman said it was not in the case file at the hearing. He set another trial call for Friday to have time to read the reply, and said he will make the ruling as soon as he can.

According to online court records, Pevehouse’s reply to the motion has been filed.

Cale added that due to a conflicting sentencing for another case, she might not be ready to go to trial as scheduled on Monday anyway.

Anderson, who was present at the hearing, has been living with his wife, who is his third-party custodian, out of custody since June 2015.

According to LeBlanc’s affidavit, the student Anderson is accused of sexually abusing told another teacher at the school she had been having sex with him. That teacher reported it to the school’s principal, who in turn called the troopers.

Anderson had been investigated in July 2013 for “having inappropriate conversations” with that same student, but was not charged with anything, according to the affidavit.

First-degree sexual abuse of a minor is an unclassified felony in Alaska, for which Anderson could face up to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 for each count he faces. Second-degree sexual abuse of a minor carries a punishment of up to 99 years in prison, with a presumptive range of 5-15 years.

 

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

More in News

Sens. Löki Tobin, D-Anchorage, right, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, and Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, discuss a bill proposing a nearly 17% increase in per-student education funding Wednesday at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini /Juneau Empire)
State Senate bill would bump per-student funding amount by $1,000

If approved, the legislation would bump state education funding by more than $257 million

Recognizable components make up this metal face seen in a sculpture by Jacob Nabholz Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, at the Kenai Art Center, in Kenai, Alaska, as part of Metalwork & Play. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Metalwork gets time to shine

Metal is on showcase this month at the Kenai Art Center

This 2019 aerial photo provided by ConocoPhillips shows an exploratory drilling camp at the proposed site of the Willow oil project on Alaska’s North Slope. The Biden administration issued a long-awaited study on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, that recommends allowing three oil drilling sites in the region of far northern Alaska. The move, while not final, has angered environmentalists who see it as a betrayal of President Joe Biden’s pledges to reduce carbon emissions and promote green energy. (ConocoPhillips via AP)
Biden administration recommends major Alaska oil project

The move — while not final — drew immediate anger from environmentalists

Homer Electric Association General Manager Brad Janorschke testifies before the Senate Resources Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, in Juneau, Alaska. (Screenshot via Gavel Alaska)
Senate group briefed on future of Cook Inlet gas

Demand for Cook Inlet gas could outpace supply as soon as 2027

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Peninsula voices join state debate over school funding

Lawmakers heard pleas from education leaders around Alaska to increase the state’s base student allocation

Tamera Mapes and a client laugh and joke with one another during a free haircut at Project Homeless Connect on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Caring and connecting

Project Homeless Connect offers a variety of services

This September 2011 aerial photo provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, shows the Bristol Bay watershed in Alaska. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, effectively vetoed a proposed copper and gold mine in the remote region of southwest Alaska that is coveted by mining interests but that also supports the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. (Joseph Ebersole/EPA via AP)
EPA blocks Pebble Mine

Pebble called the EPA’s action “unlawful” and political and said litigation was likely

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19 cases continue to climb

Statewide hospitalizations decreased slightly

A plow truck clears snow from the Kenai Spur Highway on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna council approves extra $100k for snow removal

At the end of December, the department was already more than $27,000 over their $100,000 budget for snow removal

Most Read