Dept. of Law has reviewed 'Pirate' case dismissal, and says it was appropriate - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, January 21, 2020
HomeThe 907Dept. of Law has reviewed ‘Pirate’ case dismissal, and says it was appropriate

Dept. of Law has reviewed ‘Pirate’ case dismissal, and says it was appropriate

The reappearance in Fairbanks of a man who calls himself Pirate has led to both citizen outrage and media focus in recent weeks. Pirate had been indicted by a grand jury in 2015 for many counts of sexual assault, kidnapping, and assault that occurred after he took a woman to his cabin in Manley Hot Springs and allegedly brutalized her.

[Read: Pirate back in Fairbanks, some are concerned]

Formerly known as Daniel Lloyd Selovich, the now-mostly homeless man with tattoos on his face was released when in 2016 the victim died and the Fairbanks District Attorney dismissed the charges. 

In response to citizens’ concerns, the Fairbanks District Attorney and Deputy District Attorney conducted a review of the 2015 case against the defendant and the circumstances of its dismissal. 

“The Department of Law has completed its review of the evidence and concluded the dismissal of the 2015 case, while extremely frustrating, was appropriate under the law,” according to a statement from the Department of Law on Thursday. The case dismissal came because without a victim to testify, Pirate would not be given a fair trial in which he could face his accuser and where she could be cross-examined by his attorney.

A group on Facebook formed to keep an eye on Pirate and report sightings of him, and the news media has reported about how others with extensive and similar facial tattoos are being confused with Pirate and have been harassed.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • In our criminal justice system it is the state versus the accused…not the victim versus the accused.

    In this case the state had gathered evidence and statements, including statements from the victim, that were all admissible at trial.

    It does not matter that the victim died. If that were not true then all any rapist or other criminal needs to do is kill their victim (as long as there are no other witnesses) and voila! – they can’t be tried because they can’t confront their accuser.

    The fallacy here is that the physical evidence and victim statements don’t matter. They do. In fact it is established legal precedent that even verbal statements made by a victim as he or she dies are admissible at trial.

    Justice was not served here.

    • He’s a creep and essentially a huge danger to society.

  • It should have transitioned into a murder case immediately.

  • Murder victims can’t testify, the evidence does. If she had video testimony of the ordeal, he could still give his side of events and a jury could do its job.

    • He wasn’t accused of murder.

  • He will do it again , The next time people will be aware of his past and take appropriate action needed.

  • Isn’t this why we gather DNA in “rape kits”?
    Seems like the state had more than sufficient time to gather the appropriate evidence in this case.
    Not sure of the rap sheet on Pirate, but if felonies were in his past then his DNA should have been swabbed?
    Seems like a plausible conclusion could have been found if all evidence was properly reviewed…

    • This matter has been discussed in excruciating detail, including the fact that DNA was collected and that this was used to limit his movements in recent years. The corrections system operates at a glacial pace; if they had a reason to keep him, they would have had plenty of time to have their ducks in order and would have kept him, plain and simple. It’s only someone else’s life, after all. As one comment posted elsewhere pointed out, we don’t have a justice system, we have a legal system. It’s all about lawyers making work for their fellow lawyers. What I haven’t seen mentioned: an employee at a community institution in Fairbanks violated HIPAA to provide information to the online world about his status and whereabouts, behavior that’s par for the course for Fairbanks.

      • “A legal system, not a justice system”. Now that is the most truthful thing I’ve heard all day.

      • Sean, besides holding people for crimes before trial or after, corrections has absolutely nothing to do with the judicial system. Corrections doesn’t determine who gets tried or acquitted nor do they determine guilt or innocence. I agree with the fact that this dude should have been tried but let’s put the blame where it belongs—in the laps of the attorneys. As to your disdain with the corrections department, find another avenue for your witch hunt.

    • The 92 million dollar crime lab had to farm out the backlog of rape kits (at a cost of millions). Maybe they could start a program to teach inmates to process rape kits.

    • All DNA can show is a given person was more than likely in a given place. In the case of sexual contact, all it can show is sexual contact occurred.

      IIRC he didn’t deny having sex with her, he denied raping her. In that situation DNA isn’t probative of anything. DNA is only really useful when the accused denies the alleged type of contact entirely.

  • So, Pirate wouldn’t have a chance to face his accuser. Good Lord. And she is dead…as in she never gets to face anyone ever again.
    .
    Let me guess: This woman was expendable, right? Was she an addict? A prostitute? Native? So, she dies after the fact and now there isn’t a witness. Well, my guess is she was a human being. But, alas, another woman in Alaska with justice tossed aside. Clearly, they aren’t working hard enough to give her a voice.
    .
    And Epstein didn’t kill himself…

  • While I understand the necessity, I’m tired of seeing this degenerate’s face. That he’s a free man is a disgrace.

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