Alaska Man Given 'Pass' After Pleading Guilty to Kidnapping & Masturbating on Woman
ANCHORAGE, AK — An Alaskan air-traffic controller accused of brazenly kidnapping, strangling, and masturbating on an unconscious woman during a mid-day assault got out of serving time behind bars and will not have to register as a sex offender after he agreed to a plea deal.
According to police, Justin Scott Schneider, 34, was driving past a Holiday gas station in August 2017 when he spotted the victim looking for a ride. Schneider pulled over his Toyota 4Runner, introduced himself to the woman as “Dan” and told her he knew her.
However, “[the victim] said that she had never met the man in her life prior to this encounter, and nothing else about their encounter involved drugs, sex, or money, or sex for money,” APD Detective Brett Sarber wrote in a criminal complaint.
The 25-year-old woman, who is a Native Alaskan, hopped into Schneider’s vehicle. After they set off, he told her he had to grab something from another car. He then stopped in a secluded spot near a construction site, which was nowhere near the victim’s destination, and told her to get out so he could load some items into the SUV.
This is where police say suspect Justin Schneider took a woman to violently assault her in the middle of the day Tuesday @ktva
When the woman approached the back of the vehicle, Schneider “full on tackled” her to the ground and threatened to kill her, wrote Sarber.
“She said she could not fight him off, he was too heavy and had her down being choked to death,” the detective continued. “[The victim] said she lost consciousness, thinking she was going to die.”
When she regained consciousness, the woman said Schneider was standing above her, zipping up his pants. He then offered her a tissue.
“The man told her that he wasn’t really going to kill her, that he needed her to believe she was going to die so that he could be sexually fulfilled,” Sarber wrote.
Schneider let the woman go, and she was able to get his license plate number and call police for help. She later identified him in a photo lineup while getting treated at the Alaska Native Medical Center, telling police: “You don’t forget the face of the man who almost killed you.”
“[She] was very traumatized, and was very emotionally upset recalling the event, to the point where she couldn’t hardly speak,” Sarber noted in his complaint.
A grand jury indicted Schneider on a total of four felony charges, which included kidnapping, assault, harassment, and “offensive contact with fluids.” The married father was placed under home arrest and fitted with an ankle monitor.
Despite the serious allegations against him, Schneider, now jobless, walked out of jail a free man on September 19 after the state allowed him to plead guilty to a single felony assault charge.
Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Corey handed down a two-year sentence with a year suspended and another knocked off for the time Schneider served on house arrest.
“Mr. Schneider is going to be a member of our community, and he would not be in jail for the rest of his life even if he had been convicted on all of the counts for which he was charged,”said Judge Corey, who warned Schneider: “This can never happen again.”
Defending his decision to offer the generous plea deal, Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Andrew Grannik explained an expert assessed Schneider, who is now enrolled in a treatment program, as having a low-risk of reoffending.
“I hope it doesn’t happen,” Grannik said of the chance Schneider could strike again. “That’s the reason why I made the deal that I’ve made, because I have reasonable expectations that it will not happen. But I would like the gentleman to be on notice that that is his one pass — it’s not really a pass — but given the conduct, one might consider that it is.”
Schneider didn’t offer his victim an apology in court when the judge gave him the chance, but he did make a statement.
“I would just like to emphasize how grateful I am for this process,” he told the court. “It has given me a year to really work on myself and become a better person, and a better husband, and a better father, and I’m very eager to continue that journey.”