I have my own history with Mr. McGinnis. I have no idea if this actually made it into the book, but McGinnis contacted me in 2010 while he was trying to dig up dirt on Sarah Palin’s father Chuck Heath. Back in the 1980′s Heath was a teacher/coach in the Wasilla public school system at the same time a teacher by the name of Walter Koenig was arrested for molesting several girls, one of them my sister. The revelation of Koenig’s crimes came at the time that public schools in Alaska were being rocked with revelation after revelation of molestation.
My father, an Alaska State Trooper at the time, investigated these cases though once it became clear that my sister was involved in Koenig’s case he handed it off to another investigator.
Regardless, Koenig confessed his crimes and was convicted. At the time, though, there was a scandal in the community over the firing of a school principal to whom students had complained about Koenig. The principal, who later regretted his decision for obvious reasons, didn’t take their complaints seriously. At the time there were no mandatory reporting laws in Alaska requiring teachers, etc. to report complaints of abuse to law enforcement. My father investigated the matter and ultimately found that no laws had been broken.
Regardless, the school superintendent still chose to fire the principal. This caused some uproar in the community as some, including Sarah Palin’s father Chuck Heath, felt that while the principal made a mistake it shouldn’t cost him his career. The controversy escalated to the point where the superintendent reported having his tires slashed, though ultimately after my father investigated that incident it turned out that the superintendent had slashed his own tires so he could get new winter tires at the expense of his insurance company (my father arrested him for the crime).
McGinniss’ angle was to attempt to make Chuck Heath out to be some sort of apologist for a sex predator. That wasn’t the case at all. Heath simply felt that the decision to fire the principal was wrong. A debatable position (my family certainly disagreed), but hardly one that reflects on Heath’s character. Indeed, my family and the Heaths/Palins remain friends to this day.
Rob Ports father Rollie Port is not of interest for us – what we are interested in is the following: What exactly were the actions of Raymond Carter, and what is Chuck Heath’s relationship to Raymond? In addition, we wanted to know which crimes were committed by George Koenig in particular.
WASILLA — When you’ve lived in the same spot for 41 years, you tend to get a little attached.
That’s why it would take a nice chunk of change to convince Ray Carter to sell his 8.36 acres across from Iditarod Elementary School for a new Wasilla public library.
Although the property just 600 feet off Wasilla-Fishhook Road has an assessed value of $407,900, Carter said he’d need about $1.2 million to give it up to the city.
“Other people have wanted to buy my land over the years, usually for commercial projects, but when I tell them what it would cost, I usually don’t hear from them again,” Carter, a 72-year-old retired school teacher, said Monday.
Carter, who first moved to Alaska from Idaho with his wife in 1963 to teach in the Native village of Huslia, said that if he does end up selling his property for a new library he might end up going back to Idaho or possibly only as far as Anchorage.
He moved from Idaho to Alaska, and he was 72 years old in 2010 – therefore, the class of 1955 fits perfectly.
Trooper Douglas Huntsman testified that “he felt Carter was being uncooperative when he was asked to give police names of children the evening of Jan. 6. Massie also testified that Carter acted as if ‘there were no urgency to get to the bottom of this.'”
George R. Koenig was thirty-three years of age at the time of his offenses. He has a master’s degree in philosophy and was the music and language teacher at a Wasilla grammar school. Koenig was initially charged with sixteen counts of sexual abuse and sexual assault involving eight victims: S.L.F. (age nine); K.L.M. (age nine); M.A.S. (age twelve); D.M.I. (age eight); J.L.S. (age nine); G.L.H. (age eleven); E.E. (age eight); and H.D.K. (age eight). As part of a plea agreement, Koenig entered a plea of nolo contendere to three charges, and the state dismissed the other thirteen with the understanding that it could bring out evidence regarding all sixteen offenses at sentencing. Koenig was therefore convicted of one count of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, an unclassified felony, AS 11.42.434(a)(1), based upon digital penetration of H.D.K., and two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, a class B felony, AS 11.41.436(a)(2), based upon, respectively, the touching of K.L.M.’s vagina and the touching of E.E.’s breasts. Koenig was sentenced to twenty years with ten suspended on the first-degree sexual abuse conviction, and ten years with five suspended on each of the second-degree sexual abuse convictions. All three sentences were made consecutive, so that Koenig received a total sentence of forty years with twenty years suspended.
Koenig’s appellate briefing was directed at establishing that his individual sentences were excessive. Since this issue will arise on remand and would be particularly significant if Judge Hanson should again determine that consecutive sentences were appropriate, we address a few remarks to his case. First of all, we agree with Judge Hanson that Koenig’s case was, to a certain extent, aggravated. As Judge Hanson pointed out, the victims in this case were eight and nine years of age. See AS 12.55.155(c)(5) (the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the victim of the offense was particularly vulnerable or incapable of resistance due to extreme youth). While the elements of AS 11.41.434(a)(1) and AS 11.41.436 (a)(2) require age disparity between victim and assailant, we agree with Judge Hanson that the extreme youth of these children meets the test for the aggravating factor. By the same token, Koenig’s status as a public school teacher, and the position of authority it gave him over his victims, serves to aggravate this case. See Goulden v. State, 656 P.2d 1218, 1222 (Alaska App. 1983); see also former AS 11.41.410(a)(4)(A). Finally, Koenig was convicted of offenses involving multiple victims, and the trial court also properly considered, pursuant to the plea agreement reached between the parties, uncharged offenses verified in the record. Taking all of these factors together, we conclude that Koenig was properly given an aggravated sentence.
In reaching this Conclusion, we stress, however, that proof of aggravating factors by clear and convincing evidence, while a necessary condition for an aggravated sentence, is not sufficient for that purpose. Ultimately the trial court must consider the totality of the defendant’s conduct in the light of his past record and future prospects in determining an appropriate sentence. In this regard, the overwhelming majority of cases involving sexual abuse of minors that we have reviewed, regardless of whether that abuse takes the form of sexual contact or sexual penetration, have involved people in positions of authority over the minor, e.g., teachers, parents, babysitters, et cetera, and children of extreme youth. While this case is aggravated, it is not sufficiently aggravated to warrant a maximum sentence or sentences.
On remand, Koenig’s sentence, whether involving concurrent or consecutive increments, should not exceed twenty years with five years suspended.
There was a story recalled by a poster on this blog under the article about Palin down below. The Raymond Carver Trust (sic) was manipulated so that the Palin’s could get a mortgage and then $140,000 of the trust was turned over to Chuck Heath, Palin’s dad. This provided a way for CH to just “forgive” the Palin’s for paying it back. This is a summary of that post; better to read it yourself.
I have googled to death Raymond/Kristine Carter, Amy L. Carter etc and can find no connection to who may have been a beneficiary of that trust.
THAT person would certainly have a gripe.
The reader “sauerkraut” commented at Mudflats:
It appears that the Palins borrowed the money from a living trust, that her parents have majority control of AND that was created approximatley 2 weeks before they borrowed the money.
This “iceberg” threat is about the Palins and Heaths embezzling from with a trust fund that was federally guaranteed. That the federal government agencies are looking (obligated to) into this wrong doing, because of the guarantee. And that the IRS is involved in this too.
That part I got. Private transaction wherein Palin “borrowed” money. Did Palin not pay back the borrowed money? I don’t see embezzlement under the scenario wherein Palin borrowed money (presumably it’s a loan extended by the Carter’s).
I can see where the IRS might have raised an eyebrow if Palin did not pay back the money. Or if they paid no interest on the “borrowed” money (which the IRS views as an interest-free loan).
If the money was not paid back, and the value of the “borrowed” money never declared on a 1040, then there’s a problem as the IRS tends to view these types of transactions as involving undeclared income. Oops. Still gotta pay taxes on undeclared income!
If no interest was paid on the “borrowed” money, then there’s also a problem here as the IRS tends to view the unpaid interest on no-interest loans as… income. If that income was not included on the 1040, then there’s yet another instance of undeclared income. Still gotta pay taxes on undeclared income!
But that’s all conjecture as we do not know the nature or terms of the transaction(s) that you listed. Did the Carter’s actually loan money to Palin? Did the Carter’s expect to be paid a certain amount of interest? If there was interest, did the Carter’s declare that on their 1040? Did the Carter’s provide the appropriate IRS 1099 interest form to Palin? Has any of this shown up on tax returns released by Palin?
There are other pertinent questions, but those are where we ought to start.
Oh, and here’s a kicker… 1994? Are any claims by any of the parties (Palin, Carter, IRS?) barred by applicable statute of limitations? Has the bell tolled on any possible enforcement action?
McGinniss addresses Heath’s role in inciting people in the wake of the discovery of Koenig’s crimes, his forlorn defense of Carter and the weirdness of that time.
Judy and I moved to the Valley from Whittier just before all this started coming down. McGinniss’ book doesn’t name then-school district superintendant Gordon Tope directly, nor does it get into the detail you have here. Good job, by the way.
But McGinniss places these events into the context of how polarizing, irrational and just plain insidious the personality of Chuck Heath could be, and shows how that fit into the MO of the Heath-Palin clan over the years. The book is a helluva read, Patrick.
Alaska State Troopers and Matanuska-Susitna School District officials have agreed to discuss the contention that the district has inadvertently impeded criminal investigations of sexual harassment cases.
“There are problems and we’re trying to sort through them,” said Trooper Sgt. Rollie Port, head of the troopers General Investigative Unit in Palmer. “But we’re not head to head with the school district… We’re meeting with them in a very positive light.”
Port was quoted in a Valley newspaper story last week saying that the district’s own personnel investigations have hampered at least two trooper investigations in the past three years, including that of a former swim coach currently accused of sexually harassing student and employee lifeguards.
In the article, printed in the Jan. 3 Frontiersman, Port said the swim coach’s own investigator had time to interview witnesses before troopers were notified, because the school district waited a week before reporting the case.
While this concerns an unrelated case of potential sexual abuse, the article in the ADN then mentions at the end the old Koenig-case, and contains a real bombshell:
In another instance, Port told the Frontiersman that the 1983 case against former Iditarod Elementary School band director George Koenig was made more difficult because the district had already alerted Koenig that the police were on their way. Koenig has since been sentenced to 20 years in prison for child sexual abuse.