Seward man to be tried for sexual assault

A Seward man will be tried in Kenai for the sexual assault of his ex-girlfriend last June.

Daniel VanNess, 35, was indicted by a grand jury in December 2014. He is charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree assault and one count of third-degree assault.

VanNess had a trial call at the Kenai Courthouse on Wednesday. A status hearing has been set for July 20.

According to an affidavit filed June 17, 2014, a 28-year-old woman reported a sexual assault to Sgt. John Brown of the Alaska State Troopers.

Brown wrote in the affidavit that the woman reported returning home on June 10, where VanNess sexually assaulted her. Brown also wrote that the woman reported VanNess assaulted her physically by placing “a single arm around her neck, strangling her.”

According to the affidavit, the woman reported that following the assault, VanNess “begged” her not to tell anyone, saying “he would have to kill himself.” The affidavit states VanNess was contacted by Brown later that day.

“VanNess allowed me to look at his cell phone and I noticed that he sent several texts … (which) in essence stated that VanNess had no reason to live,” Brown wrote in the affidavit. “VanNess explained he did not remember sending those texts.”

If convicted, VanNess could face a minimum of 25 years in prison.


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