A particular prosecutor has charged Alaska’s former appearing lawyer common with three counts of sexual abuse of a minor for having intercourse with a 17-year-old woman he coached on a highschool mock trial group in Might 1991.
The charges have been filed Friday in Alaska state court docket in Anchorage in opposition to Clyde “Ed” Sniffen, who served as appearing lawyer common from August 2020 to January 2021. Gov. Mike Dunleavy requested the Division of Legislation to nominate an impartial investigator to assessment the case after the Anchorage Each day Information and ProPublica first reported in January 2021 that a woman had accused Sniffen of sexual misconduct.
Sniffen resigned because the newsrooms have been making ready the article. In his resignation letter, Sniffen wrote that he had determined to step apart “after discussions with household, and for private causes.” Sniffen’s lawyer declined remark and stated he wouldn’t make his consumer accessible for an interview.
Dunleavy had appointed Sniffen as his everlasting lawyer common, topic to affirmation by the Legislature, days earlier than his resignation. At that time, the governor said Sniffen “has a protracted and confirmed document of management inside the Division of Legislation and I’m proud to nominate him to function our state’s subsequent Lawyer Common.”
Sniffen changed former Lawyer Common Kevin Clarkson, who resigned after the Each day Information and ProPublica reported he had despatched tons of of questionable texts to a feminine colleague. In his resignation letter, Clarkson wrote, “I remorse that my actions and errors in judgment in interacting with a state worker have change into a distraction to the nice work and good individuals working within the state’s and your service.”
Nikki Dougherty White, now 48, informed the information organizations that Sniffen first had intercourse along with her throughout a mock trial group journey for a contest in New Orleans and continued their sexual relationship upon returning to Anchorage. These allegations kind the idea for the felony prices filed Friday.
White had come ahead publicly for the primary time after studying that Sniffen had been appointed lawyer common.
Reached by telephone Friday, particular prosecutor Gregg Olson declined to debate the main points of the fees. White additionally declined to remark.
The Division of Legislation, in a press release issued late Friday, stated: “Inside 24 hours of studying of the allegations in opposition to Mr. Sniffen, this workplace acted to nominate a particular prosecutor within the curiosity of justice, equity, and transparency. Now that the fees have been filed, the particular prosecutor will proceed to make choices impartial from the Division of Legislation to convey the case to decision.”
The Legislation Division assertion continued: “The allegation that Mr. Sniffen took benefit of his authority to interact in sexual acts with the sufferer is disturbing and disappointing. As attorneys who work on behalf of the State to carry individuals accountable, we count on to be held to the identical degree of accountability. This additional compels us to be advocates for victims, and extra importantly, clearly emphasize our function is to make sure justice for each Alaskan.”
Anchorage police investigated the case, interviewing White and different former members of the West Anchorage Excessive Faculty mock trial group who joined Sniffen on the journey to New Orleans.
Friday’s felony criticism, which was first reported by the Alaska Beacon, focuses on Sniffen’s alleged actions in Alaska, following the New Orleans journey. Sniffen is accused of getting intercourse with White, who’s recognized by her initials within the criticism, 3 times between Might 13 and Might 28, 1991.
The criticism says the offenses happened on the houses of Sniffen’s pals and on the Resort Captain Cook dinner in Anchorage. Sniffen was 27 years outdated on the time.
Below an Alaska law enacted in 1990, months earlier than Sniffen and White traveled to New Orleans, it was unlawful for an grownup to have intercourse with a 16- or 17-year-old whom she or he was teaching, counseling or coaching. (In lots of different situations, the age of consent in Alaska is 16.)
Olson stated the fees carry a most of 5 years in jail every. Due to the timing of the alleged offense, Sniffen wouldn’t be required to register as a intercourse offender if convicted, he stated.