Wales man charged with sexual abuse of several minors
A former Bering Strait School District employee who worked in Wales and Koyuk was arrested last week and charged with four counts of sexual abuse of a minor, class B felonies, and three counts of harassment, class B misdemeanors, of at least seven girls between the ages of 9- and 13-years-old.
Alaska State Troopers arrested Amos Oxereok, 44, on Sept. 14 in Koyuk.
According to an affidavit, the troopers received a report of sexual abuse at the Wales school on August 22. Seven young girls were brought to the Nome Child Advocacy Center and interviewed.
According to their video-recorded testimony, Oxereok touched the children’s genitals and buttocks above and underneath their clothing.
Some of the alleged abuse happened at the Wales school, in the classroom and in the library. In other incidents, Oxereok apparently invited girls to his bedroom, where he showed them Barbie movies and touched them. In some incidents, there were several girls present, who corroborated Oxereok’s touching other girls.
According to the affidavit, all child witnesses expressed their dislike and discomfort when Oxereok touched them and stated they were not feeling safe when Oxereok touched them. During the interview, one child became very upset.
The incidents occurred in 2014.
Troopers wrote in court documents that Oxereok began to work at BSSD as a classroom aide in September 2010. In July 2015, he moved to Koyuk and worked as an itinerant technology specialist, traveling to different schools to work on computers.
Early last week, troopers received a report that Amos Oxereok was suicidal and that he confessed to his wife Melinda that he had inappropriately touched an 11-year-old girl.
After learning this, Melinda Oxereok submitted a written report to the Office of Children Services. The following day, troopers traveled to Koyuk to arrest Oxereok.
AST Sergeant Charles Cross said the investigation is ongoing as to possible additional victims. “If anyone has knowledge of a sexual abuse, we ask to report it to the troopers,” Cross said. He added that children should tell their parents, a school counselor or a health aide if they had been inappropriately touched.
On Sept. 15, Oxereok made the felony first appearance in the Nome District Court, where Magistrate Bob Lewis set temporary bail at $15,000. Magistrate Lewis inquired about Oxereok’s financial situation to determine whether or not a public defender would be appointed. Based on Oxereok’s statements, the defendant was earning too much to be eligible for the free services by the Public Defenders office beyond the one hearing held on Sept. 15.
On Friday, Sept. 16 a bail hearing took place, leaving the bail at $15,000 cash. The state prosecutor John Earthman also asked for a third-party custodian, but Magistrate Lewis denied the request.
Oxereok did not enter a plea yet, nor has he been indicted, since a felony plea can only be taken by the Superior Court. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 22 at 1:30 p.m.