A Wasilla resident was arrested Friday in Hooper Bay on charges of sexual assault and burglary alleged to have taken place in Soldotna.
According to a dispatch from Alaska State Troopers, troopers were notified June 11 of a home invasion and a sexual assault in Soldotna that took place that day.
The dispatch alleges Michael Ingersol, 35, bypassed the locked front door of a residence in Soldotna and sexually assaulted a person while they slept. He left after the person awakened and confronted him, according to the dispatch.
Later that same day, the dispatch says, a second person called and reported a similar experience. Ingersol allegedly had entered through an unlocked door and sexually assaulted a sleeping person. He fled after being confronted when the person awoke, according to the dispatch.
The two instances happened early in the morning, close to 6 a.m., according to the trooper dispatch.
According to an affidavit written by Investigator Samuel Webber and included with charging documents, both victims reported that after Ingersol was confronted he claimed that he was mistakenly in the wrong house and had mistaken them for someone else. The victims also said he tried to pay them, the affidavit said.
Both of the victims pointed to Ingersol in a photographic lineup, as did another resident of one of the homes. Tread from shoe prints found outside of one of the residences was matched to shoes worn by Ingersol in security footage, the affidavit said.
Ingersol had run-ins with law enforcement in the days both before and after the alleged incidents.
The affidavit says that Ingersol arrived in Soldotna June 10.
According to the affidavit, he had crashed his motorcycle on the Sterling Highway by Vitus gas station and was given a ride to the Soldotna Safeway by an Alaska State Trooper. The trooper impounded the motorcycle and confiscated an expired operator’s license.
Troopers confirmed via email Monday that when Ingersol was encountered on the Sterling Highway, there were no active arrest warrants against him, and an expired license is not an arrestable offense. They said that it is “not unusual” for a trooper to give someone a ride to a location where they can make other arrangements for transportation, and that a summons was issued to Ingersol to appear for the expired license.
Around midnight, June 11, Ingersol called police dispatch requesting the return of his confiscated license so he could go out drinking. That request was denied, according to the affidavit.
Later on the morning of June 11, Ingersol was reportedly seen and photographed leaving one of the residences in a green GMC truck, according to the affidavit.
A truck matching the description was pulled over by an Anchorage Police Officer on June 14, three days after the alleged assaults, according to the affidavit.
As the officer approached the door the vehicle sped away. The affidavit says Anchorage Police policy is not to pursue a vehicle, so police did not follow. The officer did acquire the license plate — through which Ingersol’s name was found.
On June 15, the day after Ingersol allegedly eluded police in Anchorage, a search warrant was issued authorizing location tracking of the green GMC, which was traced to a residence in Anchorage. After the vehicle was located, it departed the residence and drove aggressively. Troopers did not attempt to pull over the vehicle out of concerns for public safety, according to the trooper affidavit.
The affidavit says the troopers lost sight of the vehicle. They later found it parked at another private residence, without a driver. June 16, troopers learned that Ingersol had boarded a flight to Bethel at 5:30 p.m. the day before.
According to the dispatch, troopers located Ingersol later that day and arrested him in Hooper Bay, farther west than Bethel.
Ingersol was taken to the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center on a previous arrest warrant and on new charges of second- and third-degree sexual assault, first- and second-degree burglary.
According to Alaska Statute, the crimes of sexual assault in the second- and third-degree both describe a person engaging in sexual contact with another person without consent, without their awareness, or while they are otherwise incapacitated.
Burglary in the first-degree describes a person entering a building that is a dwelling and with intent to commit a crime, as well as attempting or threatening to cause injury to another person. Burglary in the second-degree describes only entering a building with intent to commit a crime.
All four of the charges are felonies.
The dispatch says that investigators believe that there are additional victims who haven’t reported to law enforcement — they encourage those with additional information to call the troopers at 907-262-4453 and reference case AK23058989.
Reach reporter Jake Dye at email@example.com.