The Department of Law announced Thursday that it will not be reopening a 2015 felony assault, sexual assault and kidnapping case against a man named Pirate.
Daniel Lloyd Selovich, who legally changed his name to Pirate in 2013, was accused of repeatedly raping and beating a woman while holding her captive in a Manley Hot Springs area cabin for five weeks in the fall of 2015. The Fairbanks District Attorney's office dismissed the case in 2016 after the woman was found dead in her apartment in Fairbanks.
Pirate was extradited to Las Vegas on a no-bail warrant for sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping and battery charges for a 2004 case there. He pleaded guilty to one reduced count of sexually motivated coercion and was ordered to serve a minimum of one year to a maximum of five years in prison. Online court records show Pirate was given credit for 645 days of time already served, but do not state how much time he ultimately spent in prison before being released.
Pirate's return to Fairbanks several weeks ago alarmed residents and sparked a social media furor. People took to Facebook to report on his latest known location, list details about his activity on online dating and social media sites and, in some cases, to advocate violence against him. Fairbanks District Attorney Joe Dallaire issued a statement last week stating his office was taking a second look at the dismissed 2015 case against Pirate and would make a determination once the review was complete.
A news release issued by the state Attorney General's office Thursday morning announced the case would not be reopened.
"The Department of Law has completed its review of the evidence and concluded the dismissal of the 2015 case, while extremely frustrating, was appropriate under the law," the release states.
When reached for comment, Dallaire said he could not go into specific details about the case but could provide an overview of the considerations that come up when making those types of decisions.
"One of the basic tenets of our system of criminal justice is that, in any criminal case, the accused has a right to confront the witnesses against him or her at trial," he said. "That right is embodied in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Article I Section 11 of the Alaska Constitution, and it's related to the general rule prohibiting hearsay. So when an essential witness becomes unavailable for trial for any reason — death, estrangement from the prosecution, travel out of the country, etc. — a determination of whether or not the case can still proceed by other evidentiary means can be quite complex."
Dallaire said a review also may involve consideration of the material elements of the charges of that particular case.
"In the example of homicide, the state doesn't need to prove that somebody was killed without consent, but that's not the case with regards to, for example, some of our sexual assault statutes. So, ultimately, at the end of the day, it may mean that without an essential witness, we can't proceed," he said. "We reviewed this case and we determined that the 2016 decision made by my predecessor was the appropriate one under all of the facts and circumstances."
Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.