Bethel, Alaska (KINY) – On Nov. 9, after a three-week trial, a jury found 47-year-old Paul James Jr. guilty of two counts of Sexual Assault in the First Degree, one count of Sexual Assault in the Second Degree, one count of Incest, one count of Assault in the Second Degree, one count of Assault in the Third Degree, one count of Kidnapping, four counts of Sex Offender Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor in a Local Option Community, and one count of Manufacturing Alcohol in a Local Option Community.
All 12 of the convictions stemmed from events that occurred around Feb. 14, 2019, in the village of Alakanuk. James provided homebrew that he made to four individuals under the age of 21. When three of the individuals left his home, James sexually assaulted and strangled the remaining female.
A jury made up of residents from Bethel and nearby villages heard from 19 witnesses throughout the trial, including the victim in this case as well as two victims from prior incidents involving James. The jury deliberated for an hour and fifteen minutes before returning verdicts.
After the verdict, James was remanded pursuant to statute and is being held without bail pending sentencing. Sentencing is scheduled for March 19, 2024, at 8:30 a.m. James faces a sentencing range between 57 years and 6 months to 550 years to serve.
The case was investigated by the Alaska State Troopers and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Bailey Woolfstead of the Office of Special Prosecutions’ Rural Prosecution Unit and Paralegal Bethany Kaiser of the Bethel District Attorney’s Office.