Recent cases about alleged sexual assaults have elicited ugly social media comments about local women wanting to be victims, Casper City Councilwoman Amanda Huckabay said Tuesday.

During council member comments at the end of Tuesday's regular council meeting, Huckabay read one such social media comment forwarded to her from a friend:

"'Bear in mind, we are a town that glorifies sexual victimization. How can any of these women feel undesirable or left out if they don't have a rape story of their own? Accusations are a tool for a lot of females and a lot is to be gained from a cash settlement from a case such as this.'"

The "case" referred to in this comment is the recent arrest of businessman and philanthropist Tony Cercy who has been charged with one count each of first-degree sexual assault (rape), second-degree and third-degree sexual assault, Huckabay said later. Court records say he allegedly threatened to kill the alleged victim if she told anyone about the assault.

Huckabay called the comments "ignorant," in part because there are no cash settlements in criminal cases, only civil cases.

Being part of a "rape club" is not something to be proud of, either, because such assaults affect victims, including her, for their entire lives, she said. "That is why I ran for this seat, to be a voice for those people, even though it's traumatizing to me sometimes to be in this spot for those people."

Huckabay said local residents have made progress in dealing with sexual assault in the community such as the formation of a group of survivors, and she invited others to join.

"There are always going to be people that are going to criticize you and claim that you are a liar, but know that our voices will get louder," she said.

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