Editor’s note: This story contains a description of a sexual assault; reader discretion is advised. Details that would identify the victim have been omitted from this story.
A member of the Bristol Bay Native Corp.’s board of directors is facing charges of sexually assaulting a woman earlier this month, who subsequently killed herself according to family members.
According to documents filed in Naknek District Court, 45-year-old Sergie Chukwak has been charged with second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree assault.
In the filings, Bristol Bay Borough Police Chief Rodney Enevoldsen testifies that he was dispatched at about 10:40 a.m. Nov. 5 to a reported disturbance at a Naknek home. The victim told him that she and her husband had held a party starting on the afternoon of Nov. 4 with Chukwak, one of his male cousins, and 28-year-old Deserae A. Wassillie.
The victim told Enevoldsen she went to bed at about midnight and woke up with her husband -- who was angry with her for having sex with Chukwak -- when he got ready for work at about 8 a.m.
“(The victim) stated she didn’t know anything about what (her husband) was talking about,” Enevoldsen said. “(She) did state that Chukwak had attempted to kiss her earlier in the evening before she went to bed, and Wasillie was ‘passed out’ on the kitchen floor, her husband was ‘passed out’ in the living room, and Chukwak and his cousin were still drinking in the kitchen.”
When Enevoldsen spoke with the victim’s husband at his workplace, he said their guests had arrived to play beer pong. After he passed out two or three times during the night, he woke up to go to bed and found Chukwak having sex with his wife in their bedroom.
“(The victim’s) husband stated he pulled Chukwak off of his wife and struck Chukwak at least three times in the eyes and grabbed him by the throat and yelled ‘Why are you (expletive) my wife?’” “(Her) husband further stated that Chukwak offered no (resistance) or defense but did state ‘I thought we had a deal.’”
The husband told Enevoldsen that he had chased Chukwak away, and didn’t realize until he woke up that his wife hadn’t moved during the encounter or remembered it.
According to the Associated Press, the Anchorage Daily News reports that the victim shot herself in Naknek over the weekend.
Enevoldsen says initial attempts to take Chukwak into custody were complicated by confusion over his current address. Court records show that he posted bail Wednesday.
Assistant District Attorney Marianna Carpeneti told the AP Tuesday that police are speaking with witnesses, in an attempt to determine whether prosecutors can move forward with the case without the victim’s testimony.
Chukwak reportedly told a magistrate Monday that he was innocent. Court records indicate a trial date has been set for Jan. 22.
Contact Chris Klint