Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 3:40 PM on Thursday, November 29, 2012

Man charged in sexual assault allowed to work on fishing boat; Hearing continued for brothers charged in sexual assault

By Michael Armstrong
Staff Writer

Allowing a defendant to work on a fishing boat at least a day's trip out of Dutch Harbor in the Bering Sea won't be a threat to the community and make him a flight risk, Judge Margaret Murphy ruled last week in a Nov. 21 bail hearing for Anthony Resetarits.

Resetarits, 20, and his brother, Joseph Resetarits, 18, have been charged with one count each of second-degree sexual assault, penetration of an incapacitated person. Alaska State Troopers allege the brothers assaulted an unconscious 17-year-old boy at a Sept. 8 East End Road drinking party.

Murphy granted a petition by his Anchorage attorney, Phillip Weidner, to let Anthony Resetarits go fishing in the Bering Sea for a month.

The brothers were arrested in October and released on bail. At a hearing last month, Joseph Resetarits was allowed to work outside under the third-party supervision of his father. Anthony Resetarits has been under the third-party supervision of his mother. He attended the hearing in person with his mother while Joseph Resetarits and his attorney, Sidney Billingslea, attended by telephone.

Murphy also held a preliminary hearing for the brothers. That hearing was continued to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Homer Courthouse to allow their lawyers and prosecutors more time to review and investigate the charges. A grand jury has not yet indicted the men and a trial date has not yet been set. At their initial arraignment following their arrest, the two entered or had entered on their behalf not-guilty pleas. In felony cases, as long as preliminary hearings are held or continued and the defense waives the speedy-trial rule, the case can be delayed going to a grand jury. Ultimately before holding a jury trial, the grand jury would have to indict.

Anthony Resetarits asked court permission to travel to Dutch Harbor, where he would go to work on the F/V Glacier Bay, a 154-foot freezer longliner operated by Clipper Seafoods and fishing for cod, sablefish and other species in the Bering Sea. The F/V Glacier Bay was to leave Nov. 26 for up to 30 days at sea.

Assistant District Attorney Kelly Lawson opposed the request to modify bail. She said she had concerns about who would monitor Resetarits while away from his third-party custodian. Weidner said Resetarits' mother would be with her son up to when he boarded the airplane in Anchorage and pick him up at the airport on his return.

"We're trying to get this fellow off at sea so he will be isolated from the community," Weidner said.

The mother of the boy who was assaulted attended the hearing with advocates from South Peninsula Haven House. A representative from the Alaska Office of Victim's Rights also attended telephonically.

The boy's mother expressed frustration with the petition to change Anthony Resetarits' bail conditions.

"I'm sorry," she said to Judge Murphy. "Joseph left the state. He (Anthony) gets to go out of the area. My family lives it every fricking day. I'm really feeling like my son and my family are the ones suffering. You keep letting them (the Resetarits brothers) work."

The mother said her son is out of state and still dealing with the assault.

"I don't have Thanksgiving and Christmas with my son," the mother said. "My daughter and I are alone because my son can't be here. I'm not seeing anything here going to the victim. Period. I'm really upset."

"I understand your frustration," Judge Murphy told the mother.

However, Murphy explained that under the laws covering bail conditions for defendants, she has to consider two issues: Is the defendant a flight risk? Is he a threat to the community?

Murphy granted Anthony Resetarits' petition to modify bail. He won't be around people under age 18, is to have no Internet access on the fishing vessel and can only talk by cell phone to his mother and lawyer and to his father on Christmas. Resetarits will work from Nov. 26 to Jan. 15 or return earlier if the F/V Glacier Bay finishes fishing.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.