Ex-Venetie tribal leader sentenced for rape

Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A former Venetie tribal leader has been sentenced to eight years in prison for rape.

John Titus, 65, was sentenced Friday in Fairbanks Superior Court.

''If there is anything I did wrong to her, I ask her to forgive me,'' Titus said during the sentencing hearing.

Titus reportedly entered a former employee's home while she was asleep and raped her. A Fort Yukon jury convicted him of first-degree sexual assault in 1993, but since then the case had been under appeal.

Titus, who maintains his innocence, is the founder of traditional Native alcohol recovery camps in the Interior.

He has a lengthy criminal record, mostly for alcohol-related incidents between 1959 and 1972. The rape conviction was the first involving an act of aggression on another person.

In addition to the prison time, Titus must pay $284 in restitution to the victim and submit to sexual offender rehabilitation after parole.

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