UPDATE: Paradise Valley Man Charged With Sexual Abuse Of A Child
A Paradise Valley man was charged with five sex crimes involving a minor three years ago during his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on Thursday.
James Sanders, 28, was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault (rape) of a minor, two counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, and one count of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor.
If convicted, each count of first-degree sexual assault of a minor is punishable by a minimum of five years to a maximum of 50 years imprisonment; each count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor is punishable by not more than 20 years in prison; and the count of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor is punishable by not more than 15 years imprisonment.
Assistant District Attorney Mike Schafer said Sanders also is facing three additional charges of child abuse.
Circuit Court Judge Brian Christensen set Sanders bond at $100,000 cash only because of the potential punishments, the additional charges, and Sanders unemployment.
The case began on April 20, 2015, when a Mills Police officer was dispatched to a residence in Mills for a report of a sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, according to an affidavit filed with Circuit Court
The girl and her sisters were with her at home, and their mother was not at home, the girl told the officer. There was a knock at the front door, one of the sisters opened it, and Sanders entered. The alleged victim and one sister went into the bathroom while the other sister talked with Sanders. After a while, Sanders entered the bathroom, told one sister to leave and "proceeded to 'rape'" the alleged victim. When finished, he told the girl he would kill her if she told anyone, according to the affidavit.
The 13-year-old girl was taken to the Wyoming Medical Center for an exam and collection of biological evidence.
While at the hospital, the girl's mother told the officer she returned home and heard the story. The mother didn't know Sanders well, but believed he had a twin brother, according to the affidavit.
On April 21, 2015, a forensic interview of the alleged victim was conducted at the Children's Advocacy Project. She recounted the incidents that included forcible kissing, intercourse and oral sex, according to the affidavit.
The biological evidence from the alleged victim was sent to he Wyoming State Crime Laboratory for examination. DNA samples also were collected from Sanders and his brother.
Last Friday, a Mills officer received the DNA analysis report from the state crime lab that stated the overwhelming probability that the assaults by Sanders had occurred.
An interview was conducted with the twin brother who said his wife is a long-time family friend with the girls. On April 20, 2015, he was at home when he received a call from one of the sisters, drove to Mills and the alleged victim told him of the assault.
A search of police records indicated Sanders had been involved in two unrelated incidents in Mills that same night -- property damage and a Family Violence Protection Act order violation. During the investigation of those incidents, an officer made contact with Sanders who admitted to being at the girls' residence that night.
The affidavit does not explain the three-year gap between the time the biological evidence was submitted to the State Crime Lab and when its report was received last Friday.