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11 Women Accuse Ex-Probation Officer of Abuse

By Mallory Peebles, Crime and Law Enforcement, Natural Resources and Parks Reporter, Fill-in Anchor, mpeebles@ktuu.com
Published On: Oct 09 2013 09:59:00 AM AKDT
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -

The State of Alaska and an ex-probation officer are the target of a civil lawsuit following allegations of sexual abuse from at least 11 women. 

In 2012, James Stanton was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years probation after he pleaded guilty to attempted bribery and harassment.

As part of the plea bargain, the state dropped charges of sexual assault from three women. Since then, even more women have come forward with allegations against Stanton. 

Attorney Colleen Libbey said her office represents 11 women who have filed lawsuits against Stanton and the state. 

"In our case, the women went to Wellness Court and they wanted to improve their lives," Libbey said. "They wanted to get out of the cycle they were in, and instead they were abused."

The state offers felony offenders a lesser sentence if they enter the 12- to 18-month program to get sober. Graduates can also receive reduced fines, and in some instances cases are dismissed.

Libbey said her clients claim everything from sexual harassment to sexual pentration occured, and she said some of the incidents happened inside the Nesbett Courthouse in downtown Anchorage, where Stanton worked. 

"Stanton was able to do the things he did while worked for the state of Alaska and he wasn’t monitored or supervised," said Libbey.

When the pre-trial status hearing is held Thursday, one issue that could be addressed is Stanton's employee records. 

Libbey has requested Stanton's employment records, but the state has filed a motion to keep those confidential.

John Skidmore, director of the Alaska Department of Law's Criminal Division, said Stanton is serving his probation sentence of five years and that a violation could result in additonal jail time.

The state declined to comment when contacted by Channel 2.