Soldotna man accused of abuse arraigned

In a hearing continued from last week, a former karate teacher from Soldotna was arraigned Thursday on charges of sexual abuse of a minor and unlawful exploitation of a minor.

Michael Dean Hancock, 57, was indicted on Feb. 3 with one charge of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, a charge of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and three charges of unlawful exploitation of a minor for incidents that allegedly took place in 2006 and 2007, according to the indictment. At that point, Hancock was already in custody in Anchorage following an Anchorage Grand Jury indictment of 13 charges relating to the possession and distribution of child pornography in January.

Hancock’s arraignment for the Kenai case, which began last week but was postponed until he was given a copy of his new indictment and transported from Anchorage, was completed Thursday in front of Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet.

Defense Attorney William Taylor entered not-guilty pleas on Hancock’s behalf for all counts on the indictment. Adam Alexander of the Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals appeared at the hearing over the phone.

Hancock’s trial is scheduled for the week of April 18, with his next court date set for March 18.

Hancock was a karate instructor with Peninsula Martial Arts on Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna before he was arrested following the Jan. 14 indictment.

The business closed in late December.

First-degree sexual abuse of a minor is an unclassified felony, for which Hancock could serve 20-99 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $500,000 if convicted.

Second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and unlawful exploitation of a minor are both class B felonies, which carry a punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. The child pornography charges Hancock already faces are a mix of class B and C felonies. Class C felonies carry a punishment of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

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

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