Trial pushed back for woman accused of sexual assault

The trial for a Sterling woman accused of sexually assaulting a minor has been delayed to accommodate attorney schedules and the sharing of information.

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

At her trial call at the Kenai Courthouse on Wednesday, Lee’s trial week was pushed back to Jan. 19 to allow for the transfer of Office of Children Services records to all the parties that need them. Lee’s defense attorney, DinaMarie Cale, also said she needs more time to get the results of independent DNA tests the defense is conducting.

One item being tested is a swab sample, and “there are black pants that belonged to Laurel Lee that are being tested,” Cale said.

Lee, Cale and Taylor Winston from the Alaska Office of Victim’s Rights appeared at the hearing over the phone, while District Attorney Scot Leaders appeared in the place of Assistant District Attorney Kelly Lawson, who he said is on leave.

Winston did not oppose pushing the trial back, though she said the boy’s family is “anxious for closure.”

Lee’s status hearing originally scheduled for Oct. 20 has been delayed to Nov. 25. Lawson now has until Oct. 30 to decide whether to proceed with the case.

Kidnapping and sexual assault in the first degree are both unclassified felonies. They each carry a punishment of 20 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. If convicted of the charge 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.

More in News

EPA logo
Alaska Native group to receive EPA funds for clean water projects

The agency is handing out $4.3 million to participating tribal organizations nationwide.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 6 new COVID deaths

The deaths, which included a Kenai woman in her 40s, pushed the total to 840 since the pandemic began.

Ryanna Thurman (right) speaks to a library employee at the Soldotna Public Library on Thursday, March 25 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna library seeks OK for grant fund purchases

The funds are made available under the federal American Rescue Plan Act

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Kenai man killed in vehicle rollover

The man was travelling northbound on the Sterling Highway on Tuesday.

Cheryl Morse and Tom Kleeman prepare Thanksgiving lunch at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Food bank opens doors for Thanksgiving lunch

“We don’t know what to expect, so we’re trying to still be cautious on our limited seating.”

Carter Kyle (left), Lincoln Kyle (center) and Brandon Kyle (right) hand off Thanksgiving meals at a drive through event hosted by the Salvation Army on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Thanksgiving on the go

Salvation Army hands out meals in drive-thru event

Bench creator, Brad Hughes, pours the molding material over the clay while Rob Wiard and Matt brush the liquid rubber over each character on the bench to ensure it is covered evenly. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Molds for the Loved Lost Bench are underway

Construction for the memorial bench continues as the rubber molds to shape the concrete are made.

Alaska Rep. David Eastman sits at his desk on the Alaska House floor in Juneau, Alaska, on March 5, 2020. Dozens of West Point graduates have demanded state Rep. Eastman resign from office over his ties to a right wing extremist group, saying his affiliation has betrayed the values of the U.S. Military Academy he attended. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
70 West Point grads call on Alaska lawmaker to resign

Fellow West Point graduates called on Eastman to resign after his membership in the Oath Keepers became public.

Most Read