Crime & Courts

Former St. Paul police chief sentenced to 7 years in prison for sexually abusing teen

A former St. Paul police chief was sentenced this week to serve seven years in prison for sexually abusing a teenager nearly 10 years ago.

Nicholas Hunnicutt, now 45, was arrested in Arkansas in 2017 when the felony charge of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor was filed for abuse that occurred during 2015.

Hunnicutt was a police officer in the Pribilof Islands village from 2014 to 2015 and named chief toward the end of his tenure when the sitting chief left the post, Senior Assistant Attorney General John Darnall has said.

Hunnicutt was off-duty when the abuse occurred and did not know the victim from his official duties as an officer, Darnall said. Before and after his job in St. Paul, Hunnicutt worked for various municipal and county law enforcement agencies in Arkansas, he said.

The case was initially scheduled to go to trial in 2020 but was delayed because of the pandemic until last year. He was found guilty by an Anchorage jury in September.

Hunnicutt was sentenced on Monday to spend seven years in prison followed by 10 years on probation, according to Alaska Department of Law spokeswoman Patty Sullivan.

The attorney who represented him was not immediately available on Wednesday.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at