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Wasilla woman sues prosecutors and troopers, claiming they caused her kidnap and rape

Public defender Krista Maciolek talks with her client, Jordan King, during closing arguments in the trial of Jordan King in the courthouse in Palmer, Nov. 16, 2017. King was convicted of attempted murder among other charges. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)

A terrified Shawna Robb agreed to let her accused attacker out of jail in early 2016 only after authorities promised to arrest him if he escaped — after immediately notifying her he was on the loose.

But 25-year-old Jordan King fled house arrest several months later and ambushed Robb at her home when she went out to start her truck at 4:30 in the morning.

She got no warning.

King later admitted he kidnapped and raped Robb, and he was convicted by a Palmer jury for attempted murder as well as those charges in November.

Now Robb is suing the Department of Public Safety — the agency that oversees the Alaska State Troopers — as well as the Department of Law that oversees prosecutors.

Robb's civil lawsuit filed late last month in Palmer Superior Court claims she suffered "direct harm" after troopers and prosecutors failed to notify her when King escaped house arrest.

The suit, filed on Robb's behalf by Palmer attorney Josh Fannon, seeks more than $100,000 in damages.

The civil lawsuit came as word emerged that troopers gave a man a ride home hours before his wife was killed on New Year's Day. He is charged with her murder.

Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Megan Peters said last week that the agency received notice of Robb's lawsuit but is "not able to provide information on the pending civil action."

Robb, who is 41, met King when they worked together at a Wasilla restaurant.

During the November trial, she testified that she suffered a 12-hour ordeal during which she was sexually assaulted twice after being led through the woods on a dog leash with her hands bound. She suffered a deep gash in her leg as well as cuts, bruises and bite marks before she talked King into giving himself up.

The lawsuit contends Robb suffered harm as the result of the lack of official notification and other actions.

The case began in December 2015 when King showed up at Robb's house, pistol-whipped her and sexually assaulted her, according to testimony during the trial. She fled to Wasilla police and King was arrested after a high-speed chase.

Robb was "terrified" and voiced her concerns when the Palmer District Attorney's office told her about a proposal to release King on bail, the lawsuit states. She agreed only if he was placed on 24-hour house arrest with an ankle monitor.

The lawsuit claims prosecutors assured her after a bail hearing that if King left the custody of his parents, his escape would be immediately reported to troopers and the district attorney's office.

An ankle monitor was never attached, Fannon said in an email. Instead, the judge ordered house arrest with King's parents as third-party custodians to keep him at home all the time except for medical and legal appointments.

King's parents called 911 in March 2016 to say he was wandering and were told to bring him to the nearby troopers' post themselves. He escaped as his father tried to get him in the car.

His parents called 911 to report his escape around 8 p.m. March 11. The troopers began an investigation.

According to the lawsuit, for the next eight and a half hours, troopers failed to act: They didn't call Robb, didn't go to King's parents' home, didn't notify lead investigators on King's case, and didn't notify the on-call district attorney in Palmer.

"At no point between 8 pm and 4:30 am did 911 Dispatch, the Alaska State Troopers or the District Attorney notify Shawna that the predator rapist who had her in his sights escaped custody the night before," the lawsuit states.

King, armed with a 12-inch knife, ambushed Robb at 4:30 a.m. March 12 as she prepared to go to work at the restaurant, according to court testimony.

The suit also claims that troopers failed to stop King from leaving Robb's house, failed to allow search dogs to help the muzzled drug dogs involved in the search — reducing the chance the dogs would find the missing woman — and didn't let Robb's friends and family help look for her.

Troopers have said it wasn't safe to allow the general public to search for Robb given the violent nature of the crime against her.

No hearings have been scheduled in the case yet.

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