Sex abuse trial for former teacher postponed

Jeremy Anderson, former Nikiski Middle-High School student music teacher accused of sexually abusing one of his students, walks out of a Kenai courtroom Tuesday Nov. 25, 2014 in Kenai, Alaska. (Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion, file)

The trial for a former Nikiski teacher accused of having sex with a student has been pushed back to this spring.

Jeremy Anderson, 39, was a music teacher at Nikiski Middle-High School until he was accused in 2014 of sexual abuse of a minor after troopers alleged he had sexual contact with a female student, who was 15 at the time. The abuse happened several times over the course of about six months, troopers said.

Anderson faces 14 charges of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and two charges of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor.

His trial was set for later this month but was postponed to April during a trial call Wednesday at the Kenai Courthouse. Kenai Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman noted during the hearing that a decision has yet to be made on a case brought to the Alaska Court of Appeals that argues Anderson’s wife’s right to spousal immunity.

Alaska Court Rule 505 states that, under spousal immunity, husbands and wives can’t be forced to testify against each other without their consent.

“We would like to wait for the appellate court ruling,” said Dina Cale, Anderson’s defense attorney.

According to an affidavit signed by Investigator Jack LeBlanc with the Alaska State Troopers, Anderson’s wife spoke to troopers in May 2014 on the day they went to investigate a report of sexual assault at Nikiski Middle-High School. She told troopers “Anderson had called her and stated that he had slept with a student,” and that he was “going to a place that no one could find him” in order to commit suicide, LeBlanc wrote in the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, the student told another teacher she and Anderson had been having sex. That teacher reported what she said to the school principal, who called the troopers. Anderson had already been investigated in July 2013 for “having inappropriate conversations” with the same student. He was not charged with anything after that investigation, according to the affidavit.

Anderson’s trial is now set to take place in April. Bauman said this could change, however, based on the schedule of whichever judge is reassigned to the case when Bauman retires in February.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

Jack Manson 20 days ago
Hang em high!

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