Soldotna karate teacher faces child porn charges

A longtime Soldotna resident and martial arts instructor is being charged with 14 counts related to the possession and distribution of child pornography.

Michael Dean Hancock, 57, was indicted by the Anchorage Grand Jury on Thursday with charges stemming from an ongoing investigation by the Alaska Bureau of Investigations.

Hancock has operated Peninsula Martial Arts for over 17 years, for most of that time at the “Y” intersection in Soldotna, last year moving to a new location on Kalifornsky Beach Road. The dojo was closed earlier this week, with a sign saying, “I quit,” and no other information.

According to the Office of Special Prosecutions, Hancock is at large, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. Anyone with information about his whereabouts or activities are asked to contact Investigator Vance Peronto with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation’s Soldotna post at 907-262-4423.

Hancock faces a potential sentence of two to 99 years on each count. The Alaska Bureau of Investigations points out that the grand jury indictment is a charging document, and that Hancock is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.