TL;DR: The judge accepted a plea deal with an unusually light sentence for a man who kidnapped, threatened to kill, choked unconscious and then ejaculated on the face of a Native Alaskan woman. The judge is up for re-election this year and faces stiff resistance, similar to what Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky faced after his light sentencing of a rapist.
The article contains some damning statistics regarding crimes committed against Native Alaskan women, suggesting to me that perhaps this case isn’t all that unique except that it’s being heard/read about.
It also highlights that there are systemic problems:
You read that right: it was not a sex crime, according to Alaska state law.
Here’s what happened:
The judge claims it was out of his hands (a strange claim for a judge to make about a plea deal, IMO), but even when he handed it down he knew it was wrong:
And then he went ahead and signed off on the plea deal, effectively freeing the perp.
I think they have some pretty stupid lawyers in Alaska, but maybe I’m wrong:
I would have thought that it’s not “willingly” if the information she was given was deliberately false in order to lure her in; that’s called fraud and it invalidates her ability to give informed consent. At least, I thought that was how the law worked when entering into a contract; I can’t see how agreeing to accept a ride from someone isn’t a contract.
But I digress.
The main point is that Judge Corey could have said no to the plea deal, but he didn’t. He knew it was a bad deal (for the state) but he signed off on it anyway, acceding to the prosecutor’s wishes. Well, that isn’t what people elect judges to do. People elect judges to judge, and since this one clearly doesn’t want to be all that judge-y, I’m thinking that the people will give him what he wants this November and allow him to return to private practice or to simply retire.