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Crime & Courts

Village public safety officer in Copper River region charged with sexual abuse of a minor

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: June 9
  • Published June 8

A Copper River region village public safety officer was arrested Monday and charged with having sex with a 17-year-old.

Officer Kyle Justus, 27, is facing a second-degree charge of sexual abuse of a minor while being in a position of authority.

Justus confided to another law enforcement officer that he’d had sex with a 17-year-old he had driven home from a party, according to sworn affidavit included in the charging document against Justus.

“I think I might have committed a crime,” Justus allegedly told the officer, according to the affidavit.

Justus met the teenager at a high school pep rally, and had previously met with the 17-year-old multiple times because the teen wanted to confide about a personal situation, according to the affidavit.

Justus, who lives in Tonsina, graduated from the state Public Safety Academy in November, according to a statement from Alaska State Troopers at the time.

Justus was a law enforcement officer through the Copper River Native Association, the statement said. The association oversees public safety in Chitina, Kluti-Kaah, Tazlina, Gulkana, Gakona, Chistochina, and Mentasta, according to its website.

Justus was not listed as an officer on the Copper River Native Association’s website Tuesday afternoon.

He was arrested by troopers on Monday afternoon and had an initial court appearance Tuesday at the Palmer Courthouse.