Natrona County Man Sentenced for Sexually Abusing Three Girls
A Natrona County man on Friday was sentenced to three concurrent three-to-five year prison sentences on separate counts of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor, according to a plea deal approved by a Natrona County District Court judge.
Michael Lee Anderson, born in 1968, was sentenced by Judge Joshua Eames after he entered an Alford plea, in which he asserted his innocence but believed he would be found guilty by a judge or jury based on the evidence that would be presented at trial.
Anderson, his Public Defender Joseph Cole and Assistant District Attorney Kevin Taheri agreed to the plea deal to spare the three female victims from having to testify at a trial and to bring finality to the case. Two of the girls were born in 2010 and one was born in 2015.
In exchange for pleading guilty to the three separate counts -- taking immodest, immoral or indecent liberties with a victim -- prosecutors agreed to dismiss nine other counts: one first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, five counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, and three counts of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor.
First-degree sexual abuse of a minor is punishable by at least 25 years behind bars and not more than 50. Second-degree sexual abuse of a minor is punishable by up to 20 years behind bars and third-degree sexual abuse of a minor is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
After Anderson, Cole and Taheri spoke during the hearing, Eames took a recess to consider the case.
"To be frank, it was a difficult decision for me," he said after the recess because of the allegations in the case and conflicting requests for justice.
Law enforcement received the first report of the abuse in April 2021, and it took a year to investigated.
Anderson was arrested on April 22, according to court records.
He has remained in custody on a $200,000 cash only bond.
Children's Advocacy Project in Casper