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Bethel man guilty of sexual assault, incest attempts escape

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Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 9:42 AM AKDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2021 at 11:37 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A 33-year-old Bethel man attempted to flee from authorities after being found guilty of sexual assault and incest from an incident dating back to 2017.

On Tuesday, a two-and-a-half weeklong trial came to an end after a Bethel jury found Clarence James to be guilty of second-degree sexual assault and incest, the release said. It also noted that James was accused of sexually assaulting the victim as she slept at a residence in Tununak in 2017.

The release said the case involved testimony from witnesses, a sexual assault nurse examiner, the Alaska State Troopers, the Alaska State Crime Detection Laboratory and Sorenson Laboratory.

James will stand before Judge Nathaniel Peters of the Bethel Superior Court in December for his sentencing. He faces a sentence ranging from 20-35 years with a maximum of 99 years.

Following his verdict, James was placed under the custody of correctional officers and transported to the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center in Bethel. Upon exiting his transport vehicle, James ran away through the facility’s parking lot while in handcuffs, according to an affidavit filed by a correctional officer. The officer eventually caught up to James and commanded him to stop or else he would be tased. James did not comply and ran across the highway, subsequently, the officer tased him and secured him in the correctional facility.

James faces an additional charge of second-degree escape.

The release also reported that this was the 11th criminal jury trial in Bethel after the Alaska Court System’s COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

This is a developing story. Check in for updates.

Editor’s note: The story has been updated with additional information provided by the state’s attorney general’s office.

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