Bethel Democrats have suggested three candidates to fill the seat in the Alaska House of Representatives vacated by Zach Fansler, a Democrat from Bethel who resigned earlier this month after a Juneau woman accused him of slapping her and rupturing her eardrum.
The Alaska Department of Law said the state is also considering whether the evidence is sufficient to prosecute Fansler. Department spokeswoman Cori Mills said by email that prosecutors from the Office of Special Prosecutions is considering whether or not to pursue criminal charges.
In January, according to the account of a Juneau woman who spoke to the Empire, Fansler struck her while the two were on a date. The slap ruptured one of her eardrums, she said, and she had to seek medical attention.
Through the spokeswoman, the office declined to make any additional comment. A state prosecutor unaffiliated with the case said it may be difficult to prove to a jury, which could deter the state from prosecuting. In particular, past references of BDSM between the woman and Fansler could lead a jury to believe the incident was a sexual activity gone wrong, rather than assault. The prosecutor spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.
The Democrats from the vast House District 38 have named Yvonne L. Jackson, Raymond “Thor” Williams, and Tiffany Zulkosky their choices for the now vacant House seat.