Alaska lawmakers pass bill addressing assault, strangulation

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Alaska lawmakers have passed a bill intended to address issues in state law highlighted by a controversial case last year.

The measure now goes to Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

The Anchorage Daily News reports the bill would change the definition of “sexual contact” to include “knowingly causing the victim to come into contact with semen.” It would make strangling someone unconscious a first-degree assault, allow more serious punishments for other crimes involving strangulation and change how the state grants prison credit for time spent on electronic monitoring.

Justin Schneider, who was accused of choking and masturbating on a woman, spent a year on electronic monitoring before taking a plea deal and received no additional jail sentence.

The judge who approved the deal was ousted last year following public outcry.