At Trial, Bethel Resident Accused Of Sexual Abuse

Dec 7, 2017

The State of Alaska courthouse in Bethel, Alaska.
Credit Dean Swope/KYUK

Yesterday was the first day in the trial of Garrett Walters of Bethel, who is charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and abuse.

Garrett Walters, age 31, is accused of sexually abusing a family member over the course of several years. According to Javier Diaz, an attorney from the Office of Special Prosecutions who’s pursuing this case, the victim was 13 years old when the abuse began. Walters is charged with sexually assaulting her on four different occasions in both Bethel and Nunapitchuk. At one point he allegedly tried to rape her while she slept. According to Diaz, most of the abuse occurred when the alleged victim was babysitting Walters’ children.

In his opening statement yesterday, Assistant Public Defender John Putikka painted a different picture of Walters’ relationship with his alleged victim. After the alleged victim turned 18, he told the jury that she and Walters began having an affair. When Walters decided to stay with his wife, Putikka said that the alleged victim became upset. “There are going to be a lot of things in this case that are going to be contradicted,” he told the jury. "There are going to be statements that don’t make sense.”

Walters is charged with two counts of sexual assault in the second degree, two counts of sexual assault in the third degree, and two counts of sexual abuse of a minor. His trial is expected to conclude next week.