Sterling woman arrested for kidnapping, sexual assault of minor

  • By DAN BALMER
  • Thursday, October 2, 2014 12:16pm
  • News

A Sterling woman is in jail after Alaska State Troopers allege she forced a minor into the woods near the Sterling Highway and sexually assaulted him Tuesday.

Troopers received a report of a sexual assault that occurred at Mile 80.5 of the Sterling Highway in Sterling at about 6:20 p.m., according to a trooper dispatch.

Soldotna troopers and the Alaska Bureau of Investigation responded to the scene 30 minutes later and located Laurel Lee, 51, who was passed out in the woods. Investigation revealed Lee yanked a 14-year-old boy off his bicycle and dragged him into the woods and sexually assaulted the teen, according to a trooper affidavit.

The teen told troopers he was eventually able to fight Lee off after a couple minutes and ran back toward the Sterling Highway and then reported the assault to his guardian, according to the affidavit.

At the scene, troopers found a purse with a bottle of vodka and Lee’s driver’s license. Lee was taken to Central Peninsula Hospital because of a high level of intoxication, according to the report.

On Wednesday charges of first-degree sexual assault, kidnapping and second-degree sexual abuse of a minor were filed in Kenai District Court. Lee was arrested and taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

Lee told troopers the boy came up to her on a bicycle while she was walking on the sidewalk and asked her to have sex with him. She told the interviewing trooper she was intoxicated, according to the report.

Kidnapping and sexual assault in the first-degree are unclassified felonies and if convicted is punishable by 20 to 99 years in prison with a maximum fine of up to $500,000. If convicted, she would have to register as a sex offender. Sexual abuse of a minor in the second-degree is a class B felony and carries a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $100,000.

Lee was arraigned in court Thursday and remains in custody. 

According to court records, Lee petitioned to change her name from Lori Kavanaugh to Laurel Lee in September 2004.

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