The Sitka Trial Court has been under a heavy caseload recently — with sexual assault topping the bill.

A Sitka Superior Court judge has issued a $100,000 arrest warrant for an Angoon man accused of sexually assaulting a child.

Judge Jude Pate signed the warrant on Thursday (6-6-19) for 53-year old George W. Nelson III.

Nelson was indicted by a Sitka grand jury earlier in the day on one count of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, and one count of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, for allegedly engaging in sexual contact with a child under 16 years of age.

The warrant for Nelson’s arrest was issued to the Alaska State Troopers. The bond was set at $100,000.

A Sitka man is also facing sexual assault charges — and a steep bond. A Sitka grand jury last week indicted 39-year old Mark R. Ruuti Jr. on five felony counts of assault, and a sixth misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment, for allegedly assaulting his wife.

According to court records, the victim returned home from work late in the evening on May 29 and encountered Ruuti, who accused her of having an affair. Ruuti is then alleged to have undertaken a series of physical and sexual assaults over the next 12 hours, which ended only when he fell asleep. The victim was able to escape to the police department and report the incident the following afternoon.

She was subsequently taken to SEARHC to meet with the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, who provided evidence of a possible crime to the police department.

Ruuti was arrested and arraigned in Sitka Superior Court on Friday (6-7-19).

Through his public defender, Ruuti pleaded not guilty to all counts.  Trial was scheduled for Monday, August 5.

Superior Court judge Jude Pate set bail at $50,000. He ordered Ruuti to be taken to the Ketchikan Correctional Center to await trial.

And finally, a former Sitka Community Hospital physician on Friday (6-7-19) entered not guilty pleas to a pair of additional charges of sexual assault. 75-year old Richard McGrath now faces a total of thirteen counts of felony assault, against three women who were under his medical care at the time the assaults allegedly occurred.

McGrath remains free on a $25,000 bond. The state agreed to have the bail amount run concurrently with his previous eleven indictments. The only additional condition that assistant district attorney Amy Paige asked the court is that McGrath have no contact with the third alleged victim, identified by the initials C.L.

Paige informed Judge Pate that C.L. was present in the courtroom, if he had any questions for her. “Do you have anything you would like to say ma’am,” he asked her, but C.L. declined to say anything.

McGrath was placed on administrative leave from Sitka Community Hospital in December. He had just finished a four-year contract at the time and was scheduled to begin another. His trial has been scheduled for the week of December 2.