Man charged with rape, incest postpones hearing due to vehicle accident

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The change of plea hearing for Nelson Gates didn't go as planned today due to a vehicle accident. Gates is charged with sexual assault and incest. He was expected to plead guilty Friday to a reduced charge in a plea deal.

When Gates got to court, his lawyer informed the judge that Gates had been involved in a rollover accident last night while driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks. Gates' lawyer, Rex Butler, requested that the hearing be delayed a week so Gates could get medical treatment.

The prosecutor objected saying Gates' story was suspicious and accused him of trying to avoid incarceration. The victim was on the phone and said, "This has gone on too long already." Butler ensured the court that Gates would be in custody by next week. The judge ruled that because of the medical emergency that Gates could have one more week but had to appear in Fairbanks court by next Friday or be in custody in Anchorage by Thursday.

Gates is expected to get a 20 year sentence with 12 years suspended. We will continue to follow this story as it develops.