A former Sitka High School student will spend twelve years in prison for molesting a six-year-old child on a school bus.
Twenty-year old Alexander Evans received six-year sentences for each of two counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor.
Note: A word of caution to parents, some details in this story may be inappropriate for younger readers.
According to court records Evans was a high school student who rode an early bus to school in the mornings in the fall of 2011.
The charges stem from incidents which occurred from mid-November 2011 — about a month after Evans turned 18 — through February 2012, when the child’s father took her to SEARHC Hospital and police began an investigation.
Based on the child’s testimony and the defendant’s own admission, Evans was initially charged with five counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor, for acts ranging from touching the child’s breasts and buttocks, to having sexual contact with her with his finger.
All are Class B felonies under Alaska law.
According to assistant district attorney Jean Seaton, the Alaska Legislature has tightened penalties for some sex offenses since these crimes took place. She says that the 12 years Evans will serve under his plea agreement is likely more time than he would have received if he had been convicted at trial.
Sitka’s school bus policy has not changed as a result of the incident, though supervision has tightened. Superintendent Steve Bradshaw says that district rules, then as now, don’t allow elementary school children to ride with students in grade six or higher. Exceptions can be made, but the older student is supposed to sit apart from the younger children, up front, near the bus driver. He says the rules simply weren’t followed when the abuse occurred.
Bradshaw says that any older student who rides an elementary school bus now must be preapproved by him personally.
Although this sentencing concludes the criminal aspect of the case, Bradshaw was hesitant to comment further, since civil litigation may still be possible.
In addition to serving 12 years, Evans will be on probation for 10 years following his release, when he is approximately 32 years old.