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Brothers accused in drunken sexual assault of Homer boy make bail

Michael ArmstrongHomer News
Michael Armstrong | Homer News photo

HOMER, Alaska -- In a crowded court hearing in this small Southcentral Alaska town Tuesday afternoon, District Court Judge Margaret Murphy set bail conditions for Anthony Resetarits, 20, and Joseph Resetarits, 18 -- the brothers accused of sexually assaulting a drunk teenage boy in September.

For each man, bail was set at a cash performance bond of $5,000 with a 24-hour, sight and sound, third-party custodian. Anthony will stay with his mother, Maria Santa Lucia, at a friend's home on the Homer Spit or in Sterling, and Joseph will stay with his father, Douglas Resetarits, at his Fairview Avenue home. Santa Lucia runs a bed and breakfast and an assisted living home, but she will not stay at those businesses with Anthony. Murphy also approved alternate custodians.

The two brothers were arrested last week in Anchorage and Homer on charges of second-degree sexual assault for penetration of an incapacitated person. In charging documents, Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Jeremy Stone alleged Anthony Resetarits sexually assaulted an extremely drunk 17-year-old boy at an East End Road teen drinking party, with Joseph Resetarits assisting. Before the sexual assault, Stone said Anthony Resetarits shaved an "M" in the boy's hair. Other people at the party wrote on the boy's body with markers.

The party of 60 to 80 people included 14 Homer High School student athletes, some of them football players and some members of other teams and activities. Joseph Resetarits played this season for the Homer Mariners football team, but was suspended Thursday from the team by school officials.

In his affidavit, Stone said many people witnessed the assault, with some photographing parts of it. Troopers seized a photograph taken by a boy of the assault. One witness said she watched a video of the head-shaving incident on a friend's cell phone.

At the court hearing, Joseph Resetarits was represented by Anchorage attorney Phillip Weidner and Anthony Resetarits by Bill Taylor, a public defender. Kenai Assistant District Attorney Kelly Lawson spoke for the state. Because the case remains under investigation, with many witnesses not yet identified and possibly high school students, Lawson asked that the men not be at Homer High School or contact children under 18. She also asked that the brothers not contact each other.

Judge Murphy granted those conditions. Other conditions she ordered for the release on bail for both men include:

• No contact with the alleged victim or his family.

• No unmonitored use of cell phones.

• No unmonitored use of the Web. Joseph Resetarits can use the Web for home-schooling purposes.

• No contact between the two men.

• The men cannot consume alcohol and alcohol cannot be present in the homes.

• The men cannot leave Alaska without the permission of the court.

Lawson, representing the state, said the alleged victim is out of the state. The boy's mother, however, spoke at Tuesday's hearing.

"This is a high-profile type case affecting the community of Homer greatly," Lawson said in arguing for the restrictive bail conditions of no Web use or contact with teenagers.

At one point in the hearing, Lawson asked that all the third-party custodians read the charging documents to understand the seriousness of the charges. Except for Santa Lucia, none of the potential custodians had done so at the time.

In closing comments, Murphy defended the conditions of limiting access to the Web, cell phones and potential witnesses.

"We are taking this as a very serious offense by both parties," she said. "They are very serious allegations. It needs to be treated as such."

If convicted, the men face from five to 15 years each in jail.

Further coverage of the charges and the community reaction to it will be in the Thursday print edition of the Homer News and a Web update late Wednesday.

This story first appeared in the Homer News. Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.