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Justice served? Man gets a ‘pass’ & avoids prison in strangling sex assault case; prosecutor says losing job is equal to a ‘life sentence’

An Alaska man who accepted a plea deal after being accused of choking a woman unconscious and masturbating on her will serve no jail time and won’t have to register as a sex offender.

According to KTVA, Justin Schneider, 34, pleaded guilty to a single felony assault charge in exchange for a two-year sentence. With one year suspended and credited for time served, Schneider was a free man as of Wednesday. He will serve three years’ probation as part of the plea deal.

The Anchorage man was originally charged with four felonies, including kidnapping, assault, and misdemeanor harassment (offensive contact with fluids) in connection with an August 2017 incident allegedly involving a woman he offered a ride. A complaint obtained by CNN stated that the woman claimed she was trying to get to her boyfriend’s home and Schneider drove her to a different area and attacked her. Schneider then told the woman he would kill her if she screamed, according to the complaint.

“She said she could not fight him off, he was too heavy and had her down being choked to death,” the complaint said. “(The victim) said she lost consciousness, thinking she was going to die,” the document detailed.

The woman reportedly gave Schneider’s license plate number to police after he drove off.

KTVA noted that Schneider didn’t spend a day behind bars as the “time served” he was credited for was the time he spent wearing an ankle monitor while living with his wife and two children.

“This can never happen again,” Judge Michael Corey told the defendant after accepting the plea deal.

Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Andrew Grannik told the news station that he agreed to the controversial deal because Schneider was enrolled in a treatment program and was found to have a low risk of reoffending.

The prosecutor went on to mention that Schneider lost his federal air traffic controller job—a punishment he compared to a “life sentence.”

“I hope it doesn’t happen,” Grannik said. “That’s the reason why I made the deal that I’ve made, because I have reasonable expectations that it will not happen. But I would like the gentleman to be on notice that that is his one pass—it’s not really a pass—but given the conduct, one might consider that it is.”

[Featured image: Justin Schneider/KTVA video screengrab]