It looks very much like Bill Allen will skate on charges involving sexual abuse of minors. The State of Alaska's top prosecutor said that absent new information, the ex-CEO of the now-defunct oil services giant VECO will not be prosecuted by the state on the allegations of sex with underage girls. The federal government has already said that it will take a pass.
Richard Svobodny, deputy attorney general, told the Anchorage Daily News and Anchorage's KTVA Channel 11 that a major problem with state prosecution of Allen for sexual abuse of minors was insufficient evidence to prove that he had sex with a girl 15 years of age or younger. Setting aside exceptions that don't apply to Allen, the age of consent under Alaska state law is 16.
Svobodny said that his review of the evidence involving "five or so" underage females indicated, however, that there was a good case to be made against Allen on federal charges under the Mann Act for transporting a person under the age of 18 across state lines for purposes of prostitution. One of Allen's accusers told investigators that he brought her multiple times from Seattle to Anchorage for sex when she was 16.
There will be no federal prosecution of Allen for crimes with underage girls, either. The state lawyer told the Daily News that federal prosecutors never explicitly said why they would not allow Allen to be prosecuted under the Mann Act, even when the State of Alaska asked permission to have a state attorney to be cross-designated to bring the federal charge. Svobodny said that federal officials alluded to Allen's conviction and sentence on federal public corruption charges.
In addition to this "We already nailed this guy" proposition suggesting concerns about resource allocation, rough justice, or both, another clue about the lack of future federal or state prosecution of Bill Allen is to be found in KTVA's account. The TV station reported that "Svobodny says there were impediments to bringing state charges against Allen, either for public corruption or for sexual encounters with teenage girls...."
Those "impediments" for the State of Alaska might include the statute of limitations as to public corruption charges and inadequate corroboration regarding sexual acts with girls then under 16 as to sexual abuse of minor charges under state law. For both the federal and state governments, however, the "can of worms" issue could be another "impediment" to any new criminal charges against Allen. Any additional charges against Allen by any government for crimes committed before August 30, 2006 --his "flip day"--would have to address the practical and legal issues created by a full airing of the conversations between Allen and federal officials when he started as a cooperating witness and informant.
(A bonus--perhaps--to clicking on the link for KTVA is some footage of me discussing the court order issued yesterday about the special counsel's investigation of the prosecutors involved in the Ted Stevens trial.)