Braaten v. State

In Braaten v. State, 705 P.2d 1311 (Alaska App. 1985), the sentencing judge found that the victim of a sexual assault was "particularly vulnerable" because the assault occurred in the victim's apartment, and because the judge concluded that people could reasonably expect heightened privacy and security in their dwelling places. (Braaten, 705 P.2d at 1321.) The Court reversed the sentencing judge, holding that aggravator (c)(5) could not be proved "based solely on environmental factors such as the one presented in Braaten's case". The Court held instead that aggravator (c)(5) "requires a finding that the victim was 'substantially incapable of exercising normal physical or mental powers of resistance' ... ." (Id., quoting AS 12.55.155(c)(5))