ANCHORAGE, Alaska  — A Maine man has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and murder charges in the death of a woman at the University of Alaska Fairbanks 26 years ago.

Steven Downs of Auburn made his first Alaska court appearance Tuesday. He was arrested in February in Maine but had contested extradition.

Maine defense lawyer James Howaniec  appeared telephonically and entered the not guilty pleas on Downs’ behalf.

Downs, wearing yellow prison garb, appeared in the courtroom for arraignment.

Judge Andrew Peterson set bail at a total of $1 million. The next hearing will be Aug. 14 in Fairbanks.

Downs is charged in the 1993 sexual assault and killing of 20-year-old Sophie Sergie on the Fairbanks campus, where he was then a student.

Alaska authorities say DNA linked him to the crime.

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