Former Rep. Fansler To Be Arraigned This Month

Jun 8, 2018

Former District 38 Representative Zach Fansler speaking with Bethel resident Mary Nanuwak at the December 12, 2017 Bethel City Council meeting. Fansler plans to plead guilty to harassment later this month.
Credit Christine Trudeau/KYUK

Zach Fansler has a court date.

On June 21, the former House District 38 representative is due to be arraigned in Juneau on one count of harassment in the second degree. In an interview with KYUK last week, State Ethics Attorney Maria Bahr said that Fansler has agreed to plead guilty to that charge.

Fansler resigned from the State Legislature last January after a woman accused him of slapping her repeatedly and rupturing her eardrum. In a text message exchange with the woman following their encounter, Fansler apologized profusely and attributed his behavior to “BDSM kink.” But in charging documents filed with the court, Assistant Attorney General Paul Miovas did not characterize the incident as consensual.

While Fansler and the woman were “engaging in otherwise consensual [sexual] activity,” Miovas writes, “Fansler, without warning or permission, slapped [the woman] in the head area with both his right and left hands.” The woman told the authorities that “it seemed as though he had struck her as hard as he could,” and her ears were ringing. She later learned she had suffered a ruptured eardrum, which has since healed.

Fansler and the woman had both been drinking that night. When the woman later confronted Fansler about his actions, he acknowledged that he needed to get his drinking under control.

KYUK was unable to reach Fansler or his attorney, Wally Tetlow, for further comment before broadcast.