Casper Man Sentenced to 13.5 to 15 Years in Prison for Child Sexual Abuse
A man who pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual abuse of a minor was sentenced to a prison term of 13.5 years to 15 years during a hearing in Natrona County District Court on Tuesday.
Christopher Terrance Coffey heard the sentence from Judge Kerri Johnson who agreed with the prosecution's recommendation because of the effects on the victim and the defendant's prior criminal history including three felonies.
In October, Coffey pleaded guilty to a single count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. In exchange, the state agreed to drop charges of first- and third-degree sexual abuse of a minor.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin Taheri said then that the state, as part of the plea deal, would not recommend a prison sentence of more than 15 years. The maximum sentence for this crime is 20 years of imprisonment.
Before Johnson handed down the sentence, the victim's mother read a victim impact statement, saying Coffey has been given many opportunities to reform, but he didn't change.
Her daughter has been in therapy and will suffer for a long time, she said.
"My child's innocence has been taken away," she said, adding that the family will survive.
Several people spoke on behalf of Coffey, including Darren Adwalpalker, a pastor at Highland Park Community Church.
Adwalpalker said the church has been working with Coffey and has several ministries that can help him if he were to receive a sentence less than what the prosecutor recommended.
Others said that Coffey was neglected and abused as a child, which led to his own abusive behavior.
The case began in late February after the Wyoming Department of Family Services reported the allegations. The victim, born in 2004, was interviewed at the Children's Advocacy Project on March 2, and Coffey soon was charged.
Coffey initially denied the allegations in a May interview with police. However, after failing a polygraph examination, he admitted that he abused the girl.
Investigators were told that Coffey had previously spent time in prison, according to the affidavit of probable cause. Coffey was arrested May 18 and has been in custody since then.