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Chefornak village public safety officer accused of rape

Jill Burke

A remote village in western Alaska may have been betrayed by the man charged with keeping its people safe. A village public safety officer in Chefornak, a Bering Sea community of about 400 people, is accused of repeatedly raping one of the village's teenage girls.

After five months of suffering the abuse, Eddie B. Fenn's 17-year-old victim found the courage to speak up, and reported what was happening to her to Alaska State Troopers. Fenn was arrested in late May and is charged with three felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

According to Bethel radio station KYUK, two of the assaults took place in the village's public safety building. A third occurred in a Bethel hotel; Fenn allegedly paid to have the victim flown in from Chefornak.

Before becoming a VPSO, Fenn had worked in Chefornak as both a village and tribal police officer, according to KYUK.

In an interview earlier in the year about his successful completion of VPSO training and taking the new job, Fenn told the radio station, “There's only a chosen few that's able to handle this job and what it takes to uphold the law.”