Superior Court Judge Phillip Pallenberg has seen Larry Reiger one too many times for one too many assault cases. The 60-year-old Juneau resident with a rap sheet of rampant crime and a long list of victims got 16 years in prison with no probation as his penalty for a lengthy and terrifying attack on a woman in January of 2019.
The sentencing on Jan. 2 came after a July trial, in which a Juneau jury convicted Reiger of Assault in the Second Degree, two counts of Assault in the Third Degree, and three counts of Assault in the Fourth Degree.
Evidence at trial showed Reiger repeatedly strangled the victim, including once to the point of unconsciousness, placed the victim in fear for her life, punched her in the face, kicked her, threatened to kill her, and dragged her by the hair as she was trying to flee, according to the Department of Law.
At the sentencing hearing, the victim spoke of how terrified she was during the assault and that she believed she would die before she could escape, feeling surprised to have woken up after Reiger strangled her to unconsciousness.
She emphasized that what happened to her “should not happen to anyone else, ever again.” People who know Reiger describe him as having a violent side to his personality, one that he can hide. They said he tends to attack the weak, while avoiding those who will stand up to him.
In her sentencing memorandum to the court, Juneau District Attorney Angie Kemp detailed Reiger’s lengthy criminal history of 42 prior convictions dating back to 1983, half of which were for assault or assaultive behavior. Describing Reiger as “a clear risk to community safety [who] will almost certainly reoffend once released,” Kemp emphasized the sentencing goal of isolating him in order to protect the public from future harm. Kemp asked the court to impose the maximum term of imprisonment available under the law.
MRAK research shows that to be the case:
Assault | Disorderly Conduct | Reckless Endangermen | Assault (Domestic) | M.i.c.s. – 7 | Cbj42.20.090 A1: Disorderly Conduct | As 11.71.070a2: Controll Substance | Assault 3 | Driving While Intoxicated | Refusal BA | Conceal Merchandise | Ptrp – Petition to Revoke Probation | Assault – 4th Degree | As11.41.230 (A) (3): Assault – 4th Degree | Criminal Mischief | Cbj42.10.010: Assault | Lewdness | Cbj42.20.090 (A) (1): Disorderly Conduct | Mics – 6th Degree | Mics 6th | Assault 3rd | Concealment of Mdse | Sex Assault – 1st DG | Cbj42.10.010 (A) (1): Assault | Resist Officer | Cbj42.10.010 (A) (3): Dv Assault | Assault 4th | Vcor | Cbj20.25.080 (B): Alcohol – Open Container in Public Area | Crim Mischief – Damage Property – Gen | Assault – Purposeful, Reckless Injury | Robbery 2 – Use Force to Prevent Resistnc | Cbj72.10.028: Valid Operators License Required – 1st Offense | Driving While Under The Influence – Under Influence Liquor or Drug | Disorderly Conduct – Challenge to Fight | Cbj42.20.230: Consumption of Marijuana in a Public Place – 1st Offense | Cbj72.02.075: No – Passing Zone
Those charges don’t include some of the ones that were dismissed by prosecutors during plea agreements, such as impersonating an officer during an assault and robbery in Juneau, where the victim was a 16-year-old boy.
Commenting on Reiger’s “truly extraordinary criminal history,” Judge Pallenberg said the individual victims of Reiger’s past assaults would nearly fill the courtroom. He was obviously familiar with many of the cases where Reiger had been in his courtroom but had been cycled back into the community.
Finding Reiger to be a “worst offender,” Judge Pallenberg stated that a fundamental duty of a judge is to protect the public – and he’d seen few people more dangerous than Reiger, who now has three hots and a cot at Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau. He’ll be 75 years old by the time he has a chance to offend again in civil society.
Nice, a judge who gets it. Unfortunately, the defendant will appeal, the sentence will get reduced/overturned, and that will be a warning to other judges to not be so harsh in their sentences. I truly believe in our legal system, but the problem with sentencing appeals is that they are always one sided; there is nothing to lose by appealing, because the worst that can happen is your sentence stays the same, and in a case like this that is pretty unlikely.
This judge doesn’t “get it”. This judge is the very same one responsible for Reiger being allowed to foist himself on the female victim. This judge is most definitely a major contributor to Alaska’s crime problem.
Apparently he learned his lesson. I like the idea of being able to call someone a “worst offender”. One person was convicted of two rapes in the ’70’s, sentenced to 10 years, paroled out after three and promptly committed another rape. The new judge designated him a “worst offender” and sentenced him to serve the rest of his first sentence consecutively with his new one of 30 years and not to even consider asking for parole until he’d served 20 years. The man served 27 years in prison, 27 years in which women could walk in city parks with less fear of being assaulted. Works for me no offense meant to the first judge.
Sounds just like Joseph Watson of Talkeetna who has been convicted of felony assault, got a slap on the wrist by the prosecutor and the judge and is still roaming around free. The Alaska judicial system sucks big time.
WT – I just looked him up and he is lodged at Goose Creek. – sd
All of these charges on this criminal over a lengthy period of time, show me what lousy judges we have in the state and that we need to get on with electing instead of political appointments to make a governor feel good. about his new found power. Thanks Coghill and Geissel for all your bad judgment, can hardly wait for the next legislative session to begin.
impersonating an officer during an assault and robbery in Juneau, where the victim was a 16-year-old boy. And it was dropped in a plea bargain? What the hell is wrong with these people?
The legal system in Alaska is a complete disaster.
42 priors and a host of things Reiger’s been given a pass on previously is wrong to start with and the hammer should’ve been dropped on this idiot with alacrity right about 1983.
Make no mistake; It is our legal system and our judges that are directly responsible for this woman’s having taken a beating.
This story does clearly illustrate the faults rather than any strength in our judicial system. This man should have been behind bars already. Alaska spends so much on incarcerated people that there is a strong incentive to do anything but lock someone up for a long time. The solution is to change the laws to allow much lower costs. Put them on lettuce and oatmeal, meat once a week, pink salmon in season, etc. etc. No cell phones, no television, free books from the library; make prison into prison.
What a great judicial system we have thanks to the libs and there touchy feely rules. These criminals need to be put on an island in the chain and told to enjoy the freedom with no rules. They could live like they want, no fences, no rules, no police.
Good time will see him released from prison in 10 years, eight months.
@kubota2 “Alaska spends so much on incarcerated people that there is a strong incentive to do anything but lock someone up for a long time”.
To assume that there’s a disincentive to incarcerate requires a disconnect from long standing Alaskan perspective. Years ago it was well accepted that many Alaskans were here because they integrated into society poorly in the L48. If we all accept that there’s a thicker layer of nutbars here we also have to accept that there should be a greater reliance on incarceration as a key to public safety.
There has always been a disproportionate percentage of miscreants here. From Soapy Smith to Robert Hansen and others less known like the guy in the 70’s (in ANC) that killed his SO in Spenard and once she was found in the wood stove his comment was that she’d committed suicide. This guy and a huge host of others are out on the street as a direct result of effeminate judges applying nonsensical logic to a problem well understood by most… but not by o judges.
The way to compensate for the weak nature of our judges is to convict the dirtbag of everything and to the fullest degree next time you are called out for jury duty. *That’s* your civic responsibility as a well intentioned Alaskan intent on leaving a better community to current and future generations.
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