Reduced bail, house arrest denied for alleged sex offender

Reduced bail, house arrest denied for alleged sex offender

He’s facing 14 charges.

The bail hearing for a man charged with sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor and multiple charges of taking indecent photos without consent was denied bail under the proposed conditions of release.

Wilbur W. James Jr., 64, is facing 14 charges stemming from alleged molestation and abuse of minors whom he knew. There may be more charges forthcoming, said Assistant District Attorney Bailey Woolfstead.

“I have multiple letters to read from the (victims’ families) very much against bail,” Judge Daniel Schally said in Juneau Superior Court Friday.

Letters written to the court from the alleged victims detailed James’ predatory behavior toward underage girls and a history of offenses including assault and trespassing dating back to 1987. They argued in the strong terms against his being released on bail. James was charged in March, for alleged crimes that happened in 2018.

“(There is) a pattern of abuse of women and children,” read one of the letters. “The girls do feel they’re in danger of Wilbur James Jr. if he’s let out on bail.”

[Bill would ‘redefine’ sex crime in Alaska, broaden definition of sexual assault]

Woolfstead described a number of other victims who had come forward following the initial allegations to describe how James had assaulted them. She also talked about how Juneau Police Department officers had gotten a warrant and seized his phone, and upon correctly guessing the passcode, found indecent photos of minors taken while they were sleeping in the deleted folder.

“We do have in this state tragically high, outrageously high, criminally high abuse and violence against women and children,” Schally said.

James was present telephonically during the bail hearing. He interrupted once, saying the allegations were false and that he had been sleepwalking when the assaults had occurred, before being silenced and threatened with being held in contempt of court by Schally.

“The allegations here are extremely serious. They are several in number, and they involve more than one alleged victim,” Schally said. “There also appears to be some allegations of a history of similar behavior.”

James’ attorney, Assistant Public Defender Andrew Dunmire, asked the judge to consider releasing James on house arrest so that he could make several medical appointments and treat a number of medical issues.

“Frankly, many of those medical issues can be dealt with whether in custody or not,” Schally said.

Dunmire attempted to have the bail lowered to $1,500 and to have James released into the care of a third party. Schally denied both, citing the choice of third party as unacceptable, though he would consider similar proposal with a different individual.

“Mr. James, given the allegations here, needs to have more on the line,” Schally said, regarding the bail. It remains set at $10,000.

The next bail review hearing has not been scheduled.


• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.


More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 15

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Tuesday, April 16, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

An illustration depicts a planned 12-acre education campus located on 42 acres in Juneau owned by the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, which was announced during the opening of its annual tribal assembly Wednesday. (Image courtesy of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska)
Tribal education campus, cultural immersion park unveiled as 89th annual Tlingit and Haida Assembly opens

State of the Tribe address emphasizes expanding geographical, cultural and economic “footprint.”

In an undated image provided by Ken Hill/National Park Service, Alaska, the headwaters of the Ambler River in the Noatak National Preserve of Alaska, near where a proposed access road would end. The Biden administration is expected to deny permission for a mining company to build a 211-mile industrial road through fragile Alaskan wilderness, handing a victory to environmentalists in an election year when the president wants to underscore his credentials as a climate leader and conservationist. (Ken Hill/National Park Service, Alaska via The New York Times)
Biden’s Interior Department said to reject industrial road through Alaskan wilderness

The Biden administration is expected to deny permission for a mining company… Continue reading

An aerial view of downtown Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Task force to study additional short-term rental regulations favored by Juneau Assembly members

Operator registration requirement that took effect last year has 79% compliance rate, report states.

Cheer teams for Thunder Mountain High School and Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé perform a joint routine between quarters of a Feb. 24 game between the girls’ basketball teams of both schools. It was possibly the final such local matchup, with all high school students scheduled to be consolidated into JDHS starting during the next school year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
State OKs school district’s consolidation plan; closed schools cannot reopen for at least seven years

Plans from color-coded moving boxes to adjusting bus routes well underway, district officials say.

Snow falls on the Alaska Capitol and the statue of William Henry Seward on Monday, April 1. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska’s carbon storage bill, once a revenue measure, is now seen as boon for oil and coal

Last year, when Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed legislation last year to allow… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, April 15, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Juneau’s Recycling Center and Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 5600 Tonsgard Court. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)
Recycleworks stops accepting dropoffs temporarily due to equipment failure

Manager of city facility hopes operations can resume by early next week

Most Read