Ty Alexander Grussendorf, 22 at the time, follows his parents out of Juneau Superior Court after a trial date-setting hearing on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Ty Alexander Grussendorf, 22 at the time, follows his parents out of Juneau Superior Court after a trial date-setting hearing on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Grussendorf sex abuse trial set for next month

Ty Grussendorf faces sex abuse, child porn charges

Three years ago, a Juneau man was indicted on charges sexual abuse of a minor. In October, the case is finally scheduled to go to trial.

Ty Alexander Grussendorf, 24, faces six counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor when he was 18 and she was less than 13 years old. According to electronic court records, he also faces a charge of first-degree attempted sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and five charges of possessing child pornography.

The trial is scheduled for Oct. 22, according to electronic court records and Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip M. Pallenberg in a court hearing at Dimond Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon. Grussendorf was present, as were his parents. His attorney, John Cashion, called into the hearing. Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige, who is prosecuting the case, was also present.

The brief hearing was in order to schedule another hearing leading up to the trial to sort out which evidence would be admissible in the trial.

The case has had a long and highly publicized history, dating back to the original indictment in 2015. The original indictment charged Grussendorf with six counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of attempted sexual abuse of a minor, according to earlier Empire reports.

In July 2016, Pallenberg granted a motion to dismiss the indictment because a Juneau Police Department detective gave inadmissible hearsay to the grand jury that could have influenced the decision to indict Grussendorf.

Grussendorf was re-indicted in February 2017 on the same charges, and was also charged with second-degree sexual abuse in reference to a second victim, five charges of child pornography possession and 25 charges of indecent viewing of photography, according to an Empire report at the time. Most of those charges have been dismissed over the past year and a half, Paige said in an interview Wednesday, and next month’s trial will address the remaining charges.

His father Tim, a legislative staffer, was the focus of an investigation in 2016 for potentially unethical attempts to lobby for amendments to sex crime provisions in SB 91, according to an October 2016 report by KTUU. While an employee of Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, and the Senate Finance Committee, he met with multiple legislators in 2016, according to the KTUU report. Tim Grussendorf unsuccessfully lobbied to change the age of offenders from 16 or older to 19 or older, with the victim age being lowered to younger than 12 instead of 13, according to the report.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Pallenberg tentatively scheduled a hearing for 9:30 a.m. next Thursday, Oct. 4. The hearing is in regard to a motion the defense has made to throw out certain statements Grussendorf made to law enforcement officers during the initial investigation, Paige said. Due to a busy schedule over the next few weeks, Pallenberg said, that hearing might get pushed all the way back to Oct. 22 and could delay the trial by a day.

• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.

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