Dunleavy signs 'Schneider Loophole' bill

Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Friday, July 19, 2019 signed into law a bill related to the "Schneider Loophole" that allowed for an act of sexual violence to go largely unpunished in Anchorage.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Friday signed into law a bill related to the "Schneider Loophole" that allowed for an act of sexual violence to go largely unpunished in Anchorage.

House Bill 14, by Rep. John Lincoln of Kotzebue, classifies the act of ejaculating on a person without their consent as a sex crime and, according to a news release from the governor's office, "recognizes the serious nature of strangulation to the point of unconsciousness by classifying the act as first degree assault."

The new law also places that act among a list of aggravating factors for sentencing.

The bill closes legal loopholes surrounding sexual assault cases discovered after the Justin Schneider case of 2018. Schneider is an Anchorage resident who pleaded guilty in September to strangling a woman to unconsciousness and then ejaculating on her. Schneider faced no jail time due to loopholes in state law that kept his actions from being categorized as sexual assault.

Schneider, 34, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to a year in prison but walked out of his plea hearing a free man because he received credit for time served in home confinement.

Superior Court Judge Michael Corey acknowledged but accepted the agreement put forward by prosecutors, who said they could not prove some elements of the case. Public outrage followed and led to a successful effort by voters to remove Corey as a judge.

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