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Unalaska police investigate assaults in worker housing

Posted: Thursday, March 01, 2001

UNALASKA (AP) -- Unalaska police are reporting a rash of bunkhouse sexual assaults in the nation's top fishing port, where most seafood processing workers live in company housing.

Unalaska Public Safety Sgt. John Nichols said February was busy for local police, with drug cases, sexual assaults and other disturbances in seafood plant bunkhouses.

Bunkhouses are dormitories that usually have two to four workers residing per room.

Nichols said police investigated five reports of sexual assault in February.

''We're lucky if we get three a year,'' Nichols said. ''It's extremely unusual.

Nichols said three sexual assaults were reported at Unisea Inc., a major seafood company. One remains under investigation, one was charged as non-sexual assault, and no charges resulted after another investigation.

Unalaska police brought charges in two sexual assault case within a week at Westward Seafoods, a major processor of Bering Sea pollock and crab.

Stuart M. Double, age 43, was charged Monday with sexually assaulting a man in a Westward bunkhouse room on Saturday. He was charged with second degree sexual assault, with bail set at $20,000.

On Saturday police charged Robert E. Mills, 31, with raping a woman in his bunkhouse room last week. He was charged with first degree sexual assault, with bail set at $50,000.

''It's just one of those years. It's a bad year for whatever reason,'' said plant manager Ken Dorris.

Dorris said new employees are informed of the company's policy against sexual harassment when they arrive at the Aleutian Islands site.

''The difference here is they live onsite, so unfortunately you get involved in domestic issues,'' Dorris said.



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