Sentencing will continue next week for a former Juneau Police officer convicted of interfering with official proceedings, but initially charged with sexual abuse of a minor.
39-year old Brian Ervin — dressed in prison orange and initially handcuffed — took the stand during the start of Tuesday’s tense and prolonged hearing. He read from a short statement.
“I have not sexually abused, touched, or — in any way — been sexually inappropriate with any of my children or any child,” said Ervin. “I’m innocent of those charges.”
Ervin then answered questions from both his defense attorney and prosecutors, including whether he assaulted a brother and sister nearly three decades ago. He denied it. Ervin also said he didn’t know why the recent accuser said he abused her. Under questioning by prosecutors, he speculated or suggested that the accusations were false memories that could’ve stemmed from a possible medical condition suffered by the accuser.
On one side of the courtroom was Ervin’s wife, other family members and supporting friends including a clergy member. On the other, the accuser, a guardian ad litem, and representatives from the Office of Childrens Services, victim right’s groups, and other supporters.
The accuser took the stand for what turned out to be nearly an hour under questioning. She said she distrusted her mother and described suspicion by her siblings. Under gentle questioning by prosecutors, she described instances of inappropriate touching and abuse – as many as ‘hundreds’ of times in her words. But she became upset and frustrated when Ervin’s defense challenged her credibility by questioning her honesty and her recollections of abuse.
“I don’t recall dates,” she said. “There’s so much that I’m thinking about everytime that I have to testify, (that) I get all kinds of stuff mixed up.”
The accuser mentioned that Ervin did try to contact her or see her after he was out on release from the previous charges. She also believed that her siblings were still in danger.
Days before the Ervin’s trial on three counts of felony sexual abuse of minor that was scheduled for last August, the charges were suddenly dropped. Ervin immediately pled ‘no contest’ to felony interference with a witness or official proceedings. District Attorney Dave Brower said then he would not comment or explain what happened with the state’s case until after Ervin is sentenced.
Ervin faces between one- and two-years in prison. He’s already been spending time in Lemon Creek Correctional Center. The agreement includes no further charges and no judgment designation of a sexual offense.
Ketchikan Superior Court Judge Trevor Stephens denied a defense request to dismiss a presentence report because he believed the original charges were related to the more-recent one.
Sentencing will continue on Friday of next week.