Man sentenced to prison for beating Juneau woman

Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) -- A man with more than 40 prior convictions has been sentenced to a year in prison for assaulting a woman. The relatively short sentence is partly because his latest victim was drunk when he beat her, prosecutors said.

Larry Rieger, 45, pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor assault in Juneau Superior Court and then reeived his sentence, the maximum for a misdemeanor.

In a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped felony charges of attempted sexual assault and assault, along with a charge of interfering with a report of domestic violence.

Rieger was accused of beating the woman and threatening to kill her if she didn't perform oral sex on him. Among Rieger's 40 prior crimes is assaulting the same woman.

Assistant District Attorney Kurt Twitty said the woman's condition at the time of the assault weighed heavily in the deal.

''The victim's recollection of what happened was shaky and there were no corroborating witnesses to the sexual assault.''

Rieger's victim, who was living with Rieger at the time of the assault, told the Juneau Empire she was disappointed in the outcome.

''I'm an alcoholic. I try not to be a practicing alcoholic all the time and I don't remember everything from that night. But does that mean that someone has a right to beat me up or do anything they want to me? Does that mean he has a right to get away with it?''

The problem was proof, Twitty said. There was significant evidence of beating, he said, which supported the assault charge.

Twitty said he counseled the woman to get a restraining order against Rieger when he is released from prison, which could come as early as May. He's been in prison since his arrest Nov. 26.

According to court records, Rieger already has three long-term protective orders against him from three other women.

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