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Ankle monitor acts as custodian for accused rapist out on bail

Megan Edge

A Palmer man accused of raping and assaulting a woman in front of her children and holding her against her will in the Kenai Peninsula community of Sterling before fleeing to the Matanuska Valley has been released on bail, according to Kenai assistant district attorney Kelly Lawson. Lawson said the amount of his bail and the circumstances of his release were unusual.

Levi Mchone, 24, was arraigned March 7 in the Kenai courthouse and released from custody in exchange for $5,000 cash, plus a third-party custodian that is effectively only an ankle monitor. Lawson calls the bail amount "pretty low," despite the fact that $5,000 was a suggestion from the Kenai District Attorney's Office as a minimal bail suggestion.

The ankle monitor is operated by the Alaska Monitoring Company, and the technology has never been used by the Kenai court system before. Typically, a third party custodian bail requirement means someone must monitor the accused at all times. Lawson said with an ankle monitoring system, no one is physically with the accused, but "someone from the company is responsible for him."

Should Mchone flee, the ankle monitoring company could be charged with a criminal offense. "There is a person from the company that is supposed to sign the court papers," said Lawson. "We try to set it up as we want an actual person responsible for them, but the issue has never been litigated."

On Feb. 23 at 6:30 a.m., a woman went outside of her room at Otto Landing Inn in Sterling to have a cigarette and to call a friend. She left her two young children in the room with a man she had been seeing for about six months, according to court records. Before she could return, Mchone texted her, claiming he would call the police because she had abandoned her children.

When she returned, she said, she could tell that something wasn't right. She attempted to leave, but Mchone allegedly grabbed her by her sweatshirt, slammed her head into a wall, pulled her hair, lifted her up from her neck and threw her into the bathroom. Mchone moved her to the bed and raped her, according to court documents. An affidavit claims the woman's daughter woke up, at which point he offered to make her breakfast. The woman says she thought he was going to choke her to death.

It was hours later before she was able to leave. Mchone took her cell phone, but she and her children were able to flee with the help of another man at the inn.

Mchone is expected back in court March 18.

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