Victim in ‘one free pass’ case files civil lawsuit against Justin Schneider

The 26-year-old victim in a notorious “one free pass” case has filed a civil lawsuit against Justin Schneider, the Anchorage man who received a no-jail sentence for assaulting her.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Anchorage Superior Court.

In September, Schneider, a 34-year-old former air traffic controller from Anchorage, pleaded guilty to choking and masturbating on the victim, who has not been publicly named. The plea agreement did not call for any jail time.

Activists angered by the deal campaigned to vote the Anchorage judge who approved the agreement out of office.

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Corey was ousted by voters last week.

The victim, who is named as “Jane Doe” in the lawsuit, was outraged by the outcome of the criminal case and wants to pursue justice through the civil system, said her attorney, James Davis of the Northern Justice Project.

“She wanted to signal to other victims ... even if the criminal justice system lets you down, you have a right to other remedies you might pursue," said Davis. "And to the perpetrator, the civil system might still pursue even if you got off easy in the criminal system.”


[‘One free pass’: The story behind the no-jail plea deal that drew outrage from Alaskans]

Nicole Borromeo of the Alaska Federation of Natives is also involved in the lawsuit as an advocate for the victim.

The civil lawsuit filed Tuesday represents the first time the victim has publicly shared her views on the events of the Schneider case.

The lawsuit directly challenges statements by the prosecutors that the victim was unreachable and unwilling to cooperate in the legal process.

“That’s just bogus and she wants the truth,” Davis said.

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The victim gave the district attorney “multiple telephone numbers and an email address," the filings say.

“Jane Doe is -- and was always -- reachable and she is -- and always was -- willing to be a witness,” the lawsuit says.

Attorneys made the plea agreement that allowed Schneider to walk away from the case without jail time without “input or approval” from her, the suit says.

The suit asks for unspecified damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and negligence.

Schneider has not responded to the suit.

Judges and prosecutors have legal immunity from civil lawsuits.

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a longtime reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She focuses on in-depth stories about the intersection of public policy and Alaskans' lives. Before joining the ADN in 2012, she worked at daily newspapers up and down the West Coast and earned a master's degree from the University of Oregon.