Casper Man Denies Charges of Incest, Indecent Liberties
A Casper man who is charged with the sexual abuse of two victims over a decade ago denied the two charges brought against him Tuesday morning in Natrona County District Court.
Jeffrey Lance Bryden, 65, pleaded not guilty to one count each of indecent liberties with a minor and incest. He could face up to 15 years imprisonment and $15,000 in fines if convicted of both counts.
Charging papers specify that the crimes are alleged to have occurred between Dec. 1, 2002 and Jan. 31, 2005. The victims would have been 11-15 years old and 18-22 years old, respectively, when the alleged crimes were committed.
One victim came forward on Sept. 7, 2016, to report the alleged abuse to the Casper Police Department after speaking with Bryden over the phone. During the phone call, court documents say, Bryden told the victim that "he didn't know what he had to do to get the family back together."
The victim reportedly replied that Bryden "needed to admit what he did to her... so she and her sister... would stop being called liars."
The victim used an app to record that conversation, and gave the recording to a detective.
During a police interview, that victim said she would be sleeping in her bed when Bryden would wake her up by rubbing her back, eventually pulling down her pajama bottoms and sexually touching her. She remembered telling a school counselor about the abuse.
Someone -- likely the counselor, the victim assumed -- had reported it to police at the time. However, the victim was told she was a liar, according to the affidavit. She later told the detective that she hadn't thought about reporting the abuse because it had occurred so long ago, but she wanted to make clear that she was not a liar.
That victim told the detective that a second alleged victim may have information on the case. The second victim's mother had dated Bryden for a time,
The second victim told a detective that Bryden often rubbed her shoulders, feet or legs without asking. When Bryden "would try to rub her lower back close to her 'butt' she would distance herself from him," court documents say.
In June, one victim met Bryden at a park to discuss the allegations. Police detectives, along with a special agent of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, watched the meeting from a distance and recorded the conversation.
Bryden allegedly said he "had no intentions of hurting anybody," and never denied sexually touching the victim.
"It was not your fault, I was the adult, you were the child, I made bad decisions," Bryden allegedly said. "I should have never been in there, it just should have never f------- happened. As a father figure... you know."
Bryden remains free on $5,000 bond. The case is set to go to trial March 5.