In 2016, a man that some refer to as the “Alaskan Avenger” wound up in jail after violently attacking and robbing three men on the Alaskan sex offenders registry. Five years later, he’s speaking out for victims of sexual abuse not to seek revenge the way he did.
Man Uses Internet Registry To Find And Beat Up Pedophiles
Jason Vukovich was born to a single mother in Anchorage, Alaska in 1975. His mom met and married Larry Lee Fulton, who officially adopted Jason and his brother Joel. Rather than becoming the father that the boys had been missing, he became a trauma-inducing abuser.
“Both of my parents were dedicated Christians and had us in every church service available, two or three each week,” Jason later wrote in a letter to the Anchorage Daily News. “So you can imagine the horror and confusion I experienced when this man who adopted me began using late, late night ‘prayer’ sessions to molest me.”
He was also physically abusive against the two boys. Fulton would beat them with belts and pieces of wood. Authorities charged Fulton with second-degree abuse of a minor in 1989, however, he served no prison time. Additionally, no one ever came to check on the family afterward, so the abuse continued. Finally, when Jason turned 16, he and his brother ran away.
A Life Of Crime
An underage citizen with no financial means or identification, he had nothing else to do but steal to survive. He also admits that this fit into the cycle of self-loathing that his adoptive father instilled in him during his childhood. Jason said that his quiet understanding was that he was a useless, worthless, throwaway. Over time, he built up a criminal record for himself that spanned more than half the country.
Finally, he moved back to Alaska. Unfortunately, his life of crime followed him and he racked up several criminal charges in his home state as well. Having never received any psychological counseling or treatment for the trauma he sustained as a child, he finally reached a breaking point. That’s when he began reading the registered sex offenders list of Alaska.
In June 2016, Jason went on a “justice” spree, seeking out three men he’d found on the list: Charles Albee, Andres Barbosa, and Wesley Demarest. He looked up their addresses and off he went.
Jason first arrived at 68-year-old Albee’s door. After Albee answered the door, Jason forced his way in, slapped, and robbed the man. Two days later, he arrived at 25-year-old Barbosa’s house, repeating the crime. This time, he punched the man and had two female accomplices, one of which filmed the scene. Finally, he broke into the third man’s home. Demarest was less cooperative and there was a struggle. Jason then got violent, hitting Demarest in the face with a hammer. He robbed the unconscious man and left.
When Demarest woke up, he immediately called the police. It didn’t take them long to track down Jason. Though he initially denied the charges, he soon fessed up. The court charged him with 18 accounts of assault, robbery, burglary, and theft. In 2018, the court sentenced him to 28 years in prison, with five years suspended and another five on probation.
His Letter To Alaska
In 2017, Jason wrote a letter to the people of Alaska that was published in The Anchorage Daily News. In his letter, he explained how regretful he was of what he had done. His goal was to express his remorse and also encourage other trauma survivors to get help instead of seeking justice on their own.
“If you have already lost your youth, like me, due to a child abuser, please do not throw away your present and your future by committing acts of violence. There is no place for vigilante justice in an ordered society. I thought back to my experiences as a child and felt the overwhelming desire to act. I took matters into my own hands and assaulted three pedophiles,” he wrote. “I began my life sentence many, many years ago, it was handed down to me by an ignorant, hateful, poor substitute for a father. I now face losing most of the rest of my life due to a decision to lash out at people like him. To all those who have suffered like I have, love yourself and those around you, this is truly the only way forward.”
Demarest, now 70 years old, lost his job due to a brain injury that he sustained from Jason’s attack. He now struggles to form complete sentences. In 2020, Jason appealed his sentence on the grounds of PTSD, however, the judge denied him. Demarest has been quoted saying that he prefers that Jason remain behind bars while he is still alive. In an article written about this quote, the author questioned whether Demarest’s victim feels the same way about him. Jason, for his part, does not wish to be seen as a hero by anyone. Rather, he hopes others learn from his mistakes.
“I’m far from perfect — a flawed and imperfect individual like everyone else,” said Jason. “However, it’s important to me that someone else who was born and raised in Alaska who had a similar upbringing doesn’t end up with this outcome because quite candidly, it sucks,”