Accused strangler granted house arrest
(Note: The following story contains graphic accounts of sexual assault that may be disturbing to readers.)
UPDATE (Aug. 17): Schneider was indicted on kidnapping charges Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. He was in custody and the $30,000 bail originally posted had been exonorated, meaning it had been returned to the person who posted it. As of Thursday afternoon, Schneider remained in custody at the Anchorage Jail.
An Eagle River man is on house arrest at his Mercy Drive home after he was accused of strangling and sexually assaulting a woman Aug. 8 in Spenard.
According to court records, Justin Scott Schneider, 33, is required to wear an ankle monitor and may only leave the home he shares with his wife and their two small children for medical, substance abuse treatment and court or legal appointments. Schneider’s wife, Megan, has been appointed his third-party custodian, meaning she must be with him at all times during his period of house arrest.
Charging documents in the case detail a horrifying encounter that allegedly took place near the intersection of Wisconsin Street and 36th Avenue. According to a complaint filed by APD detective Brett Sarber, a Native woman called 911 Aug. 8, moments after a man drove off in a white SUV following a brutal assault.
When the woman was interviewed at the Alaska Native Medical Center, she told police a man calling himself “Dan” picked her up at the Holiday gas station on Minnesota Drive, telling her he could give her a ride to Muldoon. Instead of heading to the Eastside, the man drove to Wisconsin and 36th, where he told the woman to get out of the vehicle while he “loaded stuff in,” according to Sarber.
The woman told police that when she got out of the vehicle, the man “full on tackled” her, held her to the ground and began choking her. The woman said she passed out, and when she awoke the man was standing over her with his penis out of his pants.
“The man told her that he wasn’t really going to kill her, that he needed her to believe she was going to die so that he could be sexually fulfilled and ejaculate. Her offered her a tissue to clean her face up, which she used, and was left at the scene that APD later recovered and placed into Evidence,” Det. Sarber wrote.
As the man drove away, the woman memorized his license plate number, which police said was registered to Justin S. Schneider of Eagle River. A different detective showed the victim a photo line-up containing Schneider’s photo, which police said she identified as that of her attacker.
“You don’t forget the face of the man who almost killed you,” police quoted the victim saying after she identified Schneider as her attacker.
Schneider works as an air traffic controller at Anchorage International Airport, according to an online police dispatch. He is charged with two felonies — second-degree assault and third-degree assault — for allegedly strangling the woman, and with first-degree harassment, a misdemeanor, for allegedly masturbating on her while she was unconscious.
He remains on house arrest after posting $30,000 bail on Aug. 11, one day after he was arrested.
Star reporter Kirsten Swann contributed to this report.