Gilbert man facing rape charges in Alaska - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Gilbert man facing rape charges in Alaska

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Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 7:54 pm | Updated: 3:27 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

A Gilbert man accused of raping his 21-year-old female college roommate at his coed dorm in Juneau, Alaska, could face up to 475 years in prison for the offense.

Dominic Merrill, 21, a student at the University of Alaska’s Southeast campus, was arrested on suspicion of five counts of sexual assault on Jan. 28 and was indicted on five felony counts of first-degree sexual assault on Feb. 10, according to information from the Lemon Creek Correction Center where Merrill is being held on $25,000 bail.

Merrill, who is majoring in accounting and marketing, was arrested three days after a third party who lived in the complex told authorities Merrill sexually assaulted the woman after she brought him home from a social event early Jan. 23.

Merrill would not let the woman leave and started physically and sexually assaulting her, according to a statement issued by the Juneau Police Department.

Each count of sexual assault carries a sentence of up to 95 years.

The alleged crime has caused the college to rethink its coed housing policy, according to reports in the Juneau Empire newspaper.

Merrill’s trial is scheduled to begin in Juneau Superior Court on May 17.

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