Anchorage police arrested a 42-year-old man Tuesday evening after an officer caught him sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in Town Square Park.
Police say Earl Vrooman Jr. was arrested on a sexual assault charge after he was stopped assaulting the 22-year-old woman at Town Square Park shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday.
According to charging documents released Wednesday (PDF), APD officer Mitch Kehr was on patrol in the Downtown area shortly before 8 p.m., near the intersection of 5th Avenue and E Street, when someone told him a man was having sex with a comatose woman in the park. Kehr responded to the park and found Vrooman having sex with an 18-year-old Alaska Native woman identified as "JC."
"Officer Kehr observed JC was completely incapacitated, in a catatonic state," wrote Detective Brett Sarber with APD's Special Victims Unit. "JC's eyes were wide open, but she was 100% unresponsive to any input. She did not have control of her voice or muscles at all and could not respond to officers or medics in any capacity, so she was transported to (the Alaska Native Medical Center) for medical evaluation."
Vrooman waived his Miranda rights for a subsequent questioning conducted by Sarber at APD headquarters, in which he said he'd never met JC until earlier Tuesday. He said she offered to perform sexual favors if he got her some Spice synthetic marijuana, which he received from a friend at the park and smoked half a joint of with her.
Vrooman told Sarber that JC became unresponsive and he started "messing around with her," until he was initially interrupted by two men who briefly beat him then left. He then asked two people to call an ambulance for the woman, but they said they didn't have cellphones and kept on walking. At that point, Vrooman said he started to have sex with JC -- which she never gave him consent for -- until he was interrupted by Kehr.
"Vrooman said JC was 'half-dead,' and he should not have been having sex with her," Sarber wrote. "He told me he 'sexually assaulted her.' Vrooman asked me if she died. Vrooman said, 'She wasn't dead when I was having sex with her!'"
APD spokesperson Lt. Dave Parker says the woman was subsequently treated and released from ANMC. Charging documents say JC told police she was so badly incapacitated by smoking the Spice that there was nothing she could do to stop the assault.
Vrooman, who is listed in the state's sex-offender registry after being convicted of attempted sexual assault in 2001, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon. He is being held at the Anchorage Jail on $10,000 bail, with a court-approved third-party custodian required for release.
Editor's note: The authorship of the charging documents has been updated after clarification from APD.
Email Rebecca Palsha