Trial pushed back for Nikiski man accused of sex abuse

The trial for a Nikiski man accused of sexual abuse of a minor has been pushed back pending a decision from the Alaska Court of Appeals.

Jeremy Anderson, a former Nikiski Middle-High School music teacher, was charged in 2014 after troopers alleged he had sex and other sexual contact with a female student, then 15, several times over the course of about six months. 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 Monday status hearing at the Kenai Courthouse, Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman set Anderson’s next trial call for Jan. 11, with his trial slated to begin Jan. 17. The case cannot move forward before a decision comes from the Alaska Court of Appeals as to Anderson’s wife’s claim of spousal 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. An appeal to a decision made on the matter of her spousal immunity was filed in the appeals court at the beginning of July, according to online court records.

According to an affidavit signed by Investigator Jack LeBlanc with the Alaska State Troopers, the student Anderson is accused of sexually abusing told another teacher she had been having sex with him. That teacher reported what she said to the school principal, who called the troopers.

Anderson had previously been investigated in July 2013 for “having inappropriate conversations” with that same student. No charges against Anderson came out of that investigation, according to the affidavit.

According to LeBlanc’s affidavit, Anderson’s wife spoke to troopers on the day in May 2014 they went to investigate a report of sexual assault at Nikiski Middle-High School. She told troopers “Anderson had called her and stated that he had slept with a student,” and that he was “going to a place that no one could find him” in order to commit suicide, LeBlanc wrote in the affidavit.

Due to the time it takes for decisions to come down from the Alaska Court of Appeals, Bauman said it would not be realistic to put the case on for trial before November. Factoring in holidays and personal leave for Anderson’s defense attorney, Bauman settled on the January trial date.

Bauman also cautioned that he is set to retire Feb. 6, 2017.

The mother of Anderson’s alleged victim appeared at the hearing over the phone and commented that the family is frustrated by the case being continually pushed back. She said the family would like the case resolved sooner rather than later.

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

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