from the Superior Court, Fourth Judicial District, No.
4FA-15-02245 CR, Fairbanks, Michael A. MacDonald, Judge.
L. Wendlandt, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Criminal
Appeals, Anchorage, and Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney General,
Juneau, for the Appellant.
McFarland, Assistant Public Defender, and Quinlan Steiner,
Public Defender, Anchorage, for the Appellee.
Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Allard, Judge, and Suddock,
Superior Court Judge. [*]
A. Mayfield was indicted by a Fairbanks grand jury for
attempted second-degree sexual assault. Mayfield's
attorney moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing that the
evidence presented to the grand jury was legally insufficient
to establish attempted second-degree sexual assault. The
superior court granted this motion. The State now appeals.
reasons explained here, we affirm the superior court's
dismissal of the indictment.
facts and prior proceedings
September 27, 2015, fourteen-year-old H.R. went to the Regal
Cinema in Fairbanks with her younger sister and her friend.
The three girls sat at the end of a row toward the back of
the theater. The seat next to H.R. was empty.
Twenty-one-year-old Mayfield was sitting in the seat next to
this empty seat. Mayfield was at the theater with two of his
the girls sat down, H.R.' s sister noticed that Mayfield
was staring and smiling at them. H.R.' s sister told
H.R.; H.R. ignored Mayfield. A short time later, after the
movie started, H.R. glanced over and realized that Mayfield
had moved into the empty seat next to her. H.R. also saw that
Mayfield had put his hand, palm-side up, in the gap between
the seats, so that his hand was resting close to her knee.
H.R. thought this was "weird," and Mayfield's
proximity "freaked [her] out."
scooted over in her seat so that she was further away from
Mayfield and closer to her sister. When H.R. glanced back at
Mayfield, she saw Mayfield slowly moving his hand upwards.
H.R. then felt "a push on [her] hip," and "the
force started going down and he was trying to put his hand in
grand jury hearing, the prosecutor asked H.R. to describe
exactly what happened:
Prosecutor. Okay. And when you said you felt
something on your hip, do you know what that was you felt on
H.R.: His hand, because when I looked down I saw it.
Prosecutor: Okay. And then you said something about
his hand in your pants, what happened after that?
H.R.: I jumped. I looked over, and I said - I yelled
Prosecutor. Okay. So let's talk about why you
yelled at him. What is it that he did that made you yell at
H.R.: Touching me.
Prosecutor. Okay. So you said you felt his hand on
your hip, right? Okay. Did something happen after that?
H.R.: What do you mean? Like, he pushed his hand.
Like, he got, like, under my sweats.
Prosecutor. Okay. So did he put his hand in your
H.R.: He got his fingertips in my pants, but I had
leggings on, so -
Prosecutor: Where did he put his hand? Was it - when
he was trying to put his hand down your pants, was it in the
front or back or somewhere else?
H.R.: It was just on the side.
Prosecutor: Just on the side.
H.R.: Like -
Prosecutor. Okay. And when he did that, how did you
H.R.: It scared me, so I jumped, and I - I said -
yelled at him.
Prosecutor: And you yelled at him?
H.R.: Well, not yelled, but I said something.
Prosecutor. Do you remember what you said?
H.R.: Yeah. I said, "Don't f-ing touch
me." .. .
Prosecutor. Okay. After you did that, what did you
H.R.: I leaned over and told my friend that we
H.R.: Actually I said he just touched me. He just
touched me. I was, like, he just grabbed my butt. Like, just
like, I was so scared, I just said, and then, like, then we
got up and left.
girls got out of their seats and called H.R.' s foster
mother, who told the; to tell the theater manager. The
theater manager contacted the police, and Mayfield arrested
when he left the theater.
was originally arrested for assault in the fourth degree, a
class A iemeanor,  harassment in the second degree, a
class B misdemeanor,  and violating conditions of release, a
class B misdemeanor. The assault charge was subsequently
elevated to attempted second-degree sexual assault, a class C
felony. Mayfield was then indicted on that
charge, with a separate information charging him with
harassment and violating conditions of release.
attorney filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, arguing
that the evidence presented to the grand jury was
insufficient to establish the crime of attempted
second-degree sexual assault. The defense attorney argued
specifically that the ...