Wolford Convicted of Attempted First-Degree Sexual Assault in Homer

HOMER, AK (KINY) – A Homer jury on Wednesday convicted 33-year-old Vance Wolford on multiple charges, including Attempted Sexual Assault in the First Degree, Indecent Exposure in the First Degree, two counts of Assault in the Fourth Degree, two counts of Stalking in the First Degree, and two counts of Criminal Trespass in the First Degree.

The conviction stems from a series of incidents that occurred on May 21, 2022. According to evidence presented at trial, Wolford aggressively propositioned a woman as she was leaving the Grog Shop East parking lot at 10:30 p.m. Surveillance video showed Wolford standing next to a Chevy Astro Van before approaching her. Despite her clear refusal, he followed her as she drove away.

The woman, suspecting she was being followed, made a U-turn to confirm her suspicions. Wolford mirrored her actions. In an attempt to evade him, she drove home quickly, but Wolford followed her trail on the dirt road and parked in her driveway.

A confrontation ensued when the woman exited her vehicle and demanded that Wolford leave. Instead, Wolford chased her back to her car, preventing her from closing the door and attempting to pull her out. During a six-minute struggle, he tried to sexually assault her while preventing her from calling 911. The woman managed to dial 911 and throw her phone, which connected to her vehicle’s Bluetooth system. The 911 operator heard her plea for help, leading to the dispatch of Alaska State Troopers.

Wolford eventually exited the vehicle and masturbated, allowing the woman to lock her car door and drive away to safety while providing a description to the 911 operator. Her timely call and description enabled law enforcement to act swiftly.

Earlier that evening, Wolford had similarly approached another woman who was gardening outside her home. Shaken by his aggressive advances, she locked herself inside. Wolford returned less than an hour later, peered through her windows, and was recorded on video by the woman, who also captured his license plate number. She provided this information to the Homer Police, who were on alert when the second 911 call came in.

Thanks to the quick thinking and actions of both women, Homer Police were able to apprehend Wolford as he was attempting to leave town.

Wolford has been in custody since his arrest. He faces a presumptive sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison for the Attempted Sexual Assault in the First Degree conviction, with a maximum sentence of 99 years, plus additional time for other charges. The trial lasted five days, with the jury deliberating for less than four hours before reaching a verdict.

Assistant District Attorney Jon Iannaccone, who prosecuted the case, praised the bravery of the women involved. “This was a case about two remarkably capable women whose actions stopped the defendant and led to law enforcement quickly capturing him,” he said.

For further inquiries, contact Assistant District Attorney Jon Iannaccone at jon.iannaccone@alaska.gov.