St. Paul mother hopes sentencing her daughter’s attacker will bring her family peace
A former police chief of the remote Pribilof community of St. Paul was sentenced last week to seven years in prison for sexual abuse of a minor. Nicholas Hunnicutt was the police chief in St. Paul in 2015 when he was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl. Hunnicutt was convicted last September after COVID-19 and other factors led to several years of trial delays.
The victim’s mother, Stacy Bourdokofsky, hopes this will help the family move on, but stops short of calling the sentence “justice.”
“I don't think justice is served,” Bourdokofsky said. “There's no justice at all to bring back her hurt and pain that she's had to go through for the last nine years.”
Bourdokofsky said she wasn’t able to attend the sentencing because of the high cost of flying the 800 miles from St. Paul to Anchorage. But she was there for parts of the trial, during which she read a prepared statement.
“I must’ve cried twice and the public defender didn’t want me back in the courtroom because he said I was too emotional of a witness and didn't want the jury to be focused on me as everybody else was reading their statements,” she said.
Bourdokofsky used to work as a victims’ rights advocate in St. Paul, which has just over 400 residents. Bourdokofsky still lives there but said her daughter has moved off island.
“Ever since then, my daughter doesn't want to move back home,” she said. “She disclosed in the sentencing hearing that her bed was her safest place and she still feels that today.”
Bourdokofsky said she wishes Hunnicutt received the full 15-year sentence due to his high rank as a public safety officer.
“For somebody to be acting as a police chief, I think should be held accountable and should have got the full sentence,” Bourdokofsky said.
Hunnicutt was arrested two years after the alleged attack. He was living in Arkansas where he continued to work in law enforcement.
The full sentence was 15 years, with seven served in prison and the other eight years suspended, meaning he would be on probation.
“Seven years to serve and to file as a sex offender just does not seem like justice was served, as he was a police chief for the City of St. Paul,” Bourdokofsky said.
Still, she said the sentencing at least brought a sense of closure.
“No real justice, but we can finally both move on with both of our lives,” she said.
Hunnicutt said he plans to appeal the court’s decision.