Man charged in Alaska cold case killing pleads not guilty

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AUBURN, Maine (AP) - A Maine man has pleaded not guilty after being charged in the sexual assault and murder of a woman in Alaska in a case that remained unsolved for years.

The Sun Journal reports 44-year-old Steven Downs entered his plea in a courtroom in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Wednesday. The case is expected to be tried in Fairbanks.

Police charged Downs with the killing of Sophie Sergie, a former student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, in 1993. Sergie was last seen alive when she left a friend's dorm room and her body was found by custodial staff in a bathroom the next day.

DNA evidence led to the arrest of Downs in February. His bail has been set at $1 million.

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