In State v. Mayfield, the court of appeals affirmed a decision to grant the defendant’s motion to dismiss a charge of attempted second-degree sexual assault on the grounds that the state had failed to prove intent to use or threaten force to achieve sexual contact. While at a movie, twenty-one-year-old Thomas Mayfield touched a fourteen-year-old girl, who he did not know, on her hip by putting his fingertips in between her pants and her leggings. The young girl shouted and left the theater, alerting a manager who called the police and had Mayfield arrested. Among other charges, a grand jury found enough evidence to support a charge of attempted second-degree sexual assault. Granting Mayfield’s motion to dismiss that charge, the superior court found that the state had not presented sufficient evidence to the grand jury to establish that Mayfield had attempted to coerce sexual contact through the use or threat of force. The state appealed this ruling, arguing that the charge does not require the active use or threat of force; instead arguing that it only requires that Mayfield intended to engage in sexual contact and that he acted in reckless disregard of the lack of consent. After walking through the elements of a completed second-degree sexual assault, the court clarified earlier precedent by explaining that attempted second-degree sexual assault required that Mayfield 1) intended to make sexual contact, 2) “recklessly disregarded a substantial and unjustified risk” that the victim did not consent, 3) intended to use or threaten force if necessary, and 4) took a “substantial step” toward completing the crime. Focusing on the last two elements, the court held that while active use of force or explicit threat of force is not necessary, the conduct in question must be “strongly corroborative” of a willingness to use or threaten force beyond the force of the sexual contact itself. The court found that there was insufficient indication of either use or threatened use of force or restraint, that contact to the hip did not qualify as sexual contact in terms of this charge, and that it would be impossible to prove Mayfield’s goal was sexual contact. Holding that the indictment could not be based on “mere conjecture or speculation,” the court found that the state had failed to present evidence sufficient to show that Mayfield had taken a “substantial step” towards the commission of the crime.
 442 P.3d 794 (Alaska Ct. App. 2019).