Kodiak Daily Mirror - Alaska Peninsula man convicted in Kodiak court of sexual assault
  
Alaska Peninsula man convicted in Kodiak court of sexual assault
by James Brooks / editor@kodiakdailymirror.com
Dec 02, 2011 | 502 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KODIAK — A Kodiak jury has convicted an Alaska Peninsula man of sexually assaulting, beating and strangling a woman in False Pass.

On Nov. 20, the jury found Jason Neal Downard, 30, guilty of first-degree sexual assault and second-degree assault, both felonies.

Downard denied sexually assaulting the woman, but witnesses testified that Downard admitted the assault shortly after the crime took place in July 2008.

The woman testified that she fled the attack wearing nothing but a bloody sports bra. A medical exam verified the attack.

The case was tried in Kodiak after two previous attempts failed to bring the case to a close. Downard was arrested in October 2009 and originally scheduled to be tried in Sand Point.

After two days of jury selection in August 2010, not enough jurors could be found and the case was moved to Unalaska. A trial began there in November 2010, and jurors returned a split decision. Downard was found not guilty of attempted first-degree sexual assault, guilty of second-degree assault, and jurors deadlocked on the charge of first-degree sexual assault.

After a magistrate reported hearing a juror say she researched the case as it was going on, prosecutors announced they would re-try the first-degree sexual assault charge. Downard’s defense attorney also asked for a new trial in the second-degree assault charge.

The case was moved to Kodiak and the trial began this November. Sentencing is set for Dec. 12. Downard faces 40 to 60 years in prison on the sexual assault conviction and six to 10 years for the assault.

Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at editor@kodiakdailymirror.com.
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