Sterling woman’s sexual assault case delayed again

The trial for a Sterling woman accused of sexually assaulting a minor more than a year ago has been postponed again.

Laurel Lee, 52, was charged with first-degree sexual assault, second-degree sexual abuse and kidnapping of a minor on Oct. 1, 2014. Alaska State Troopers said she yanked a 14-year-old boy off his bicycle, took him into the woods near the Sterling Highway and sexually assaulted him.

Lee was set to go to trial this month, but the case was pushed back again at her trial call at the Kenai Courthouse on Wednesday. Her defense attorney, DinaMarie Cale, requested that the trial be pushed to May, but ended up settling on April after Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman reminded her and Assistant District Attorney Kelly Lawson that the victim’s family wants the issue resolved as quickly as possible.

“The problem is, the Lee case is a 2014 case,” Bauman said during the hearing.

Lawson said the state just received a report from the defense on Tuesday and needs time to review it before going to trial.

Lee’s new trial call is set for April 13.

Kidnapping and first-degree sexual assault are both unclassified felonies. They each carry a punishment of 20-99 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. If convicted of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor — a class B felony — Lee faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

If convicted, she would be required to register as a sex offender.

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

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