Natrona County Man Gets 8-13 Years for Sex Crimes
A man received concurrent prison sentences Wednesday morning in Natrona County District Court for the sexual abuse of multiple people.
District Judge Daniel Forgey handed down prison sentences of eight to 10 years, eight to 13 years and one year in jail to 43-year-old Micheal Allen Griswold. Those three terms of incarceration will run concurrently.
In March, Griswold entered Alford pleas to charges of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor, third-degree sexual assault and indecent liberties. He entered those pleas as part of an agreement with Assistant District Attorney Kevin Taheri, who recommended the eight- to thirteen-year sentence and other concurrent sentences in exchange.
Griswold received the one-year sentence because the corresponding crime was a misdemeanor under Wyoming law at the time it was committed, in 1992.
By entering an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit that they are guilty of the crime charged, but they concede that the prosecution would likely be able to obtain a conviction at trial. For sentencing purposes, an Alford plea is functionally similar to a guilty plea.
Two women spoke before Griswold was sentenced on Wednesday.
The first told Forgey that she had a great childhood, but later found out "that it's all a lie."
"For fifteen years, I was lied to and my family was lied to," she said. "To find out that it's not okay for a grown man to slap your ass and tell you that you're cute when you're twelve..."
"To find out that he was sexually abusing someone in your family, not to mention a child," she continued. "My entire life has changed. I have to believe things so differently now and be worried that everyone in my life is not going to hurt my family again."
She also told the court that she now has a seven-year-old daughter, and was concerned that the same thing may have happened to her child.
The second woman -- the sister of the first woman who spoke Wednesday -- told Forgey that she is diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
"I was six to seven years old when this first happened," she said. "He took advantage of my disability."
"I'm trying to the best I can to get my life back the way it should have been before everything happened."
She also referenced the seven-year-old child, her niece, and said she came forward in order to protect that child.
"I didn't want it to happen to her," the woman said. Of the abuse, she said, "It's just caused a rough life for me and that's all I have to say."
Forgey also ordered Griswold to pay $672.96 in restitution to Wyoming Medicaid.
Griswold declined to make a statement before being sentenced. He was remanded to custody following the hearing.