110 days after Bethel woman reported sexual assault, police arrest her alleged rapist

The State of Alaska courthouse in Bethel, Alaska. (Dean Swope/KYUK)

Bethel Police have arrested a woman’s alleged rapist 110 days after she reported she was assaulted.

The woman, Juanita Nick, said that she was raped by 32-year-old Bethel resident Samuel Steven Jenkins on the night of Dec. 18, 2020. Jenkins faces two felony charges of sexual assault in the second degree, penetration of an incapacitated victim and sexual assault in the third degree.

As of April 12, Jenkins was being held in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Correctional Center on $75,000 bail. He was arraigned on April 9, and his preliminary hearing will be on April 26.

After Nick reported that she was raped, she was administered a sexual assault kit at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. She said that it took 34 days for Bethel police to pick up her sexual assault kit. Bethel police would not comment on the timeline.

More than two months after her initial report to police, Nick protested what she said was the criminal justice system’s inaction on her case.

Nick’s protest prompted the Bethel City Council to hire an independent investigator to review the city’s handling of sexual assault cases.

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