Chugiak man agrees to plead guilty in sexual assault of 9-year-old girl

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 02:50

Editor’s note: The following story contains depictions of sexual violence that may be disturbing to some readers.

A 34-year-old Chugiak man has reached a deal with state prosecutors to admit he raped a 9-year-old girl on Memorial Day of 2018.

According to court documents, Jeremiah Gettler will plead guilty to one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor in exchange for prosecutors dropping the two counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor on which he was originally indicted.

The state is asking judge Catherine Easter to impose a sentence of 50 years in prison with 10 years suspended and 15 years of supervised release. Prosecutors say Gettler’s conduct was the “most serious” because he allegedly abused the girl for four years prior to the abuse coming to light.

According to court documents, a woman told police she found her daughter in the garage with Gettler on Memorial Day 2018 and suspected he was abusing her. Through a hole in a door, the woman took a short video of the attack, which she provided to Anchorage Police Department detective Shawn Davies that same day.

Davies told the court the video appeared to show Gettler sexually assaulting the girl.

At the time of his arrest, Gettler was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army who worked as a medic at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Army Medical Home. A spokesperson for the Army said last year that Gettler did not have contact with children in his role as a medic.

According to court records, Gettler has a prior felony assault conviction for a third-degree assault in 2007.

He has been incarcerated at Cook Inlet Pretrial Facility in Anchorage since his arrest on the day of the alleged attack. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 7. It was originally scheduled for November, but Gettler’s public defender Daniel Lowery has asked for more time in order to have an expert witness examine the case.

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