An Alaska man ducked prison time Wednesday in a deal the presiding judge called "breathtaking." Justin Schneider, 34, pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman who says he strangled her unconscious and masturbated on her prone body, CNN reports. Charged with four felonies including assault and kidnapping, Schneider cut a plea deal for single felony assault. "But I would like the gentleman to be on notice that this is his one pass," prosecutor Andrew Grannik said in court, per KTVA. "It's not really a pass, but given the conduct, one might consider that it is." Schneider was accused of assaulting the woman in Anchorage in August 2017 after offering her a ride. "She said she could not fight him off, he was too heavy and had her down being choked to death," the complaint reads.
"[The victim] said she lost consciousness, thinking she was going to die," per the complaint. When she awoke, he was zipping up and "told her that he wasn't really going to kill her, that he needed her to believe she was going to die so that he could be sexually fulfilled." So why the plea deal? Schneider lost his job as an air traffic controller, which Grannik called a "life sentence." And Judge Michael Cory, who called the deal "breathtaking," said he hoped Schneider could be rehabilitated. As for Schneider, he offered no apology and said he "would just like to emphasize how grateful I am for this process." He was sentenced to two years, one suspended, and received credit for time spent at home with his family. The assault survivor did not show up for trial. (Read more sexual assault stories.)