Local News

Ely found guilty of child sexual assault

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The jury reached a verdict in the State v. Ely trial at about 2:30 Friday afternoon in Wrangell.

The defendant, Wrangell resident Douglas Ely, was found guilty on all counts.

He was charged with two counts of sexual assault of a minor in the first degree and one count of sexual assault of a minor in the second degree.

Judge Trevor Stephens read the jury’s verdict.

The defense, represented by attorney Jude Pate of Sitka, requested a poll of the jury. In a poll, the judge asks each juror individually if the verdict was true and correct. All 12 responded “yes.”

The eight-year old victim testified that Ely forced her to repeatedly engage in various sexual acts with him.

Two of the charges are considered to be unclassified felonies, which are the most serious type in Alaska.

Ely agreed to two aggravating factors, which lengthen the potential sentence from 35 years to 99 years.

Agreeing to the aggravating factors is not the same as admitting guilt.

The first is that he was more than 10 years older than the victim at the time of the incident.

The second is that he and the victim shared a residence.

He now faces a potential life sentence.

A sentencing hearing will be scheduled later this summer. Ely retains the right to an appeal.

Ely was represented by defense attorney Jude Pate of Sitka.

Jean Seaton was the prosecuting attorney.

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