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Village public safety officer accused of sexual abuse of a minor in Copper River area

Alaska State Troopers.
Alaska State Troopers.(KTVF)
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 8:44 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A village public safety officer from the Copper River region has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a minor.

Tonsina resident Kyle Justus, 27, is a village public safety officer in Tonsina, according to an Alaska State Troopers online dispatch report. He was arrested Monday after it was reported he had a sexual relationship with a minor who lives in the community, troopers wrote.

He faces one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor while being a figure of authority, according to online court records. According to the dispatch, the alleged sexual relationship happened while Justus was off duty.

The incident was originally reported on Sunday, according to the dispatch report. Investigators from the troopers’ Palmer General Investigative Unit responded and investigated. After his arrest, Justus was taken to the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility in Palmer.

Online court records show he was arraigned at the Palmer Courthouse on Tuesday.

According to a November 2020 press release from the Alaska Department of Public Safety, Justus graduated the Public Safety Academy at that time. The release lists him as being employed by the Cooper River Native Association.

Justus wasn’t listed as an employed officer on the association’s website on Tuesday evening.

Justus is charged with a Class B felony, which in Alaska can be punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

Resources: If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, resources are available on the Standing Together Against Rape (STAR) website or by calling the statewide crisis hotline at 1-800-478-8999.

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