Nenana man seeks new trial in sex abuse case

Posted: Sunday, August 03, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) A Nenana man wants a plea agreement on a sexual abuse case withdrawn.

Jonathan Kukes, 50, was convicted of sexually abusing his two minor children several times throughout the 1990s after the plea agreement in April.

Kukes was scheduled to be sentenced Thursday for two felony sexual abuse convictions. However, Fairbanks Superior Court Judge Mark Wood granted a motion to cancel the sentencing hearing because Kukes has indicated that he now wants to withdraw the no-contest pleas.

Kukes, who originally pleaded innocent, had accepted the deal moments before opening statements began in his trial. He originally faced eight felony charges.

Assistant district attorney Jenel Domke said Kukes recently indicated to a probation officer that he wants to withdraw the no-contest pleas, putting the case back on schedule to go to trial.

Wood said he will not make a decision until at least Sept. 16, when a status hearing is scheduled to review the case.

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