Elementary school teacher convicted on 14 counts of sexual felonies


A Bethel jury delivered a verdict of “guilty” on 14 counts of sexual felonies against 49-year-old John Mark Hammonds, an elementary school teacher and coach at the Akiachak school.

Hammonds, who also acted as a self-proclaimed pastor in the village of Akiachak in southwest Alaska’s Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, faced charges related to sexual abuse and assault of two victims.

The convictions stem from incidents that occurred in 2021 while Hammonds was teaching at the Akiachak school.

In addition to the 12 counts related to his time as a teacher, the jury found him guilty on two additional counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree for incidents that took place in Wasilla in November 2019. Hammonds was convicted of one misdemeanor count that occurred while he was in custody.

The 15 counts brought against Hammonds include two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, one count of sexual assault in the first degree, eight counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, two counts of sexual assault in the second degree, one count of enticement of a minor, and one misdemeanor count for unlawful contact while in custody at Goose Creek Correctional Center.

The trial lasted three weeks, during which the Bethel jury heard testimony from 32 witnesses. Among those who testified were three child forensic interviewers, two nurse practitioners, seven teachers and/or administrators, and four Alaska State Troopers. The jury also heard from six children and their parents, making it a comprehensive and emotional trial.

The case was investigated by the Alaska State Troopers, with Assistant Attorney General Bailey Woolfstead from the Office of Special Prosecutions’ Rural Prosecution Unit leading the prosecution. Paralegal Bethany Kaiser of the Bethel District Attorney’s Office also assisted in the legal proceedings. Alaska State Trooper Coby Sutton, the investigating case officer, played a vital role throughout the trial.

Hammonds is currently being held without bail until his sentencing, scheduled for Jan. 19, 2024. If convicted, Hammonds faces a sentencing range of 40 years and 5 days to 595 years.


  1. Another Man needed New Life’s Every Man’s Battle.

    However Living in a village it’s tough pickings to find a Men’s group where the men hold one another accountable and encourage one another to be strong. Furthermore there no such thing as a self-proclaimed pastor. A man is supposed to know for sure God called him as a teacher and counsel of his Word to lead God’s flock. The flock will know if he is a true pastor by what he cares, protects, and stewards the congregation. This man he wasn’t a capable fulfilling the duties of a pastor when he was still an unrepentant sinner. That’s why those who regularly attend church, even the self-proclaimed Christians-although I don’t understand either how one is self proclaimed Christian and not reading Bible nor fellowshipping with their church family inside church and outside can be a follower of Jesus Christ. anyway a believer must regularly read the Bible for ourselves so in the Word it help us learn wisdom, discernment, and guidance about people, situations, decisions, just in case our “pastor” is off his walker. Hahahaha.

    If the flock isn’t following the Shepard, only relying on the hireling who may be a bad worker hurting the flock instead of caring and protecting it, then how would the people know the pastor isn’t following Jesus if they don’t know the Shepard?

    You know in Anchorage we are bigger community than Bethel, so the men in our city of 280,ooo have available to them men’s groups inside our churches that meet through out the week. It’s better than doing nothing at all and going to jail. The men here in anchorage who are struggling with whatever have no excuse not to be able to find brothers or mentors or friends here in Anchorage to lean on for better guidance, encouragement, and strength. I am woman, but I still know several churches that host regular men’s groups through out the week. I know Mountain City Church has its Recovery Alaska tomorrow Tuesday Aug 8th at 7pm where it does have a sexual addiction group for men. Because just like New Life’s book sexual addiction is Every Man’d Battle.

    • You call him a sinner, I call him a pedophile and now a felon. If this was a transgender person, the comments on here would have exploded by now about how its in “their nature” to abuse children, despite all the data to the contrary. As it is, this person is just a sinner who needs to repent I guess. Nothing to see here. Sexual addiction is one thing, pedophilia is another. That’s why hard, calcified sadist and pederasts in priestly orders are not homosexuals, they’re pedophiles. The latter is a crime, the former is not.

  2. One more thing! If you are one of the men who regularly view the Assembly meetings on YouTube, but you know you are harboring a sexual addiction secret, you can always watch the recorded assembly meeting after Recovery Alaska. If our men are sick, they can’t lead Anchorage into wellness – healing our community of its sicknesses while the men are sick.

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