If anyone still needs a definition and working application of white male privilege, meet Justin Schneider.
The Anchorage, Alaska man, who was indicted on four felony charges after assaulting a woman in August of 2017, became a free man Wednesday after striking a deal with the state. He plead guilty to one single felony assault charge in return for a sentence of two years with one suspended, KTVA reports.
Here’s background on Schneider’s horrible crime, per KTVA’s earlier reporting:
A criminal complaint against Schneider, written by APD Detective Brett Sarber, said that the victim had been at the Holiday gas station at Minnesota Drive and Spenard Road, looking for a ride toward Muldoon. A man later identified as Schneider pulled up in a white SUV, introduced himself as “Dan” and claimed he knew the victim; he offered her a ride, which she accepted.
“(The victim) said that she had never met the man in her life prior to this encounter, and nothing else about their encounter involved drugs, sex or money, or sex for money,” Sarber wrote.
Instead of heading to Muldoon, the driver said he had to get something from another car and drove to the area of 36th Avenue and Turnagain Street, where they were stopped by road construction. A construction worker in the area later remembered Schneider, the victim and the SUV when police asked about them.
Schneider then stopped the SUV on 36th east of Wisconsin Street, and asked the victim to get out while he loaded items into the vehicle. Once she approached the rear of the vehicle, Sarber wrote, Schneider “full on tackled” her, shoving her to the ground. He then began to strangle her with both hands around her throat, telling her that he was going to kill her.
“She said she could not fight him off, he was too heavy and had her down being choked to death,” Sarber wrote. “(The victim) said she lost consciousness, thinking she was going to die.”
When the victim woke up, she told police, Schneider was rising from her and zipping up his pants. He offered her a tissue, which police later recovered as evidence.
“The man told her that he wasn’t really going to kill her, that he needed her to believe she was going to die so that he could be sexually fulfilled,” Sarber wrote.
The victim said Schneider also let her retrieve her backpack and cellphone from the SUV’s front seat. Sarber said she used the phone to call police and report the vehicle’s license-plate number the moment Schneider drove out of sight.
“This can never happen again,” Judge Michael Corey told Schneider in court on Wednesday.
“I would just like to, um, emphasize how grateful I am for this process,” Schneider said in court, presumably after thanking God how grateful he was to be born white and male. “It has given me a year to really work on myself and become a better person and a better husband and a better father. And I’m very eager to continue that journey.”
Here are a few details from The Washington Post on how Alaska’s state laws made it possible for Schneider to get off easy:
On Friday, Alaska Criminal Division Director John Skidmore released a statement defending the plea deal after “a number of concerned citizens” criticized the sentence as too lenient. The state argued that Schneider’s victim had willingly entered his vehicle and so could not have proved beyond a reasonable doubt the most serious charge — kidnapping — at trial.
“Kidnapping requires that the victim be ‘restrained’ or moved against his or her will,” Skidmore stated. “Under these circumstances, the criminal charge of kidnapping (as defined under Alaska law) could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Moreover, under Alaska law, even Schneider’s masturbating on his victim could not be categorized as a sex crime, he said.
The Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Andrew Grannik, per KTVA, said that Schneider losing his federal job was a “life sentence” and that he believed an expert’s assessment that the risk of Schneider re-offending is low.
“I hope it doesn’t happen,” Grannik said. “That’s the reason why I made the deal that I’ve made, because I have reasonable expectations that it will not happen. But I would like the gentleman to be on notice that that is his one pass — it’s not really a pass — but given the conduct, one might consider that it is.”