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Alaska man gets a 'pass' after pleading guilty to assaulting woman

An Alaska man escaped jail time Wednesday after pleading guilty to assaulting a woman who said he sexually assaulted and strangled her until she lost consciousness, KTVA reported.

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Justin Schneider, 34, of Anchorage, was convicted on four felony charges -- including kidnapping and assault -- and a misdemeanor charge for the August 2017 incident. But after striking a deal with the state, Schneider was given a “pass,” KTVA reported.

In exchange for pleading guilty to a single felony assault charge, Schneider was given a two-year jail sentence with one year suspended, the television station reported. He faces no additional jail time because he received credit for time served while wearing an ankle monitor and living with his family, KTVA reported.

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Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Andrew Grannik said Wednesday he agreed to the plea deal based on Schneider's enrollment and progress in a treatment program. An expert's assessment that Schneider would not be a repeat offender also played into Grannik’s decision, the television station reported. 

“I would like the gentleman to be on notice that that is his one pass -- it's not really a pass -- but given the conduct, one might consider that it is,” Grannik said. 

"I would just like to emphasize how grateful I am for this process," Schneider told the court. "It has given me a year to really work on myself and become a better person and a better husband, and a better father, and I'm very eager to continue that journey."

Alaska Criminal Division Director John Skidmore, who independently reviewed the case, said the sentence was consistent with current sentencing laws in Alaska.

“Though it is understandable that some feel his sentence was not sufficiently harsh, all prosecutors are ethically required to follow the law, no matter how disturbing the facts may be,” Skidmore said in a statement.

As part of the plea deal, Schneider will be on probation for three years.

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