A judge Thursday sentenced a former Mills resident who authorities say molested a boy on two occasions in 2007 to three to six years in prison.
Ray Donald Lucero pleaded no contest to second-degree sexual abuse of a minor in July. Authorities began investigating the 28-year-old in late 2007 after the victim told his mother Lucero "had done gross things to him," according to a police affidavit filed in connection with the case.
After the first incident, Lucero allegedly told the boy he couldn't tell anyone what happened, authorities say. The boy later told investigators, "Donnie was being gross."
An arrest warrant for Lucero was issued in early 2008. He was eventually jailed in Las Animas, Colo., where he was living with his father, court documents show.
Authorities initially charged Lucero with first- and second-degree sexual abuse of a minor. In exchange for his no contest plea, the first-degree charge was dismissed.
While prosecutors on Thursday requested the three- to six-year term in the Wyoming State Penitentiary, Lucero's defense attorney asked Natrona County District Judge Scott Skavdahl to consider a sentence that would include the possibility of counseling.
"At least counseling provides us something," Rob Oldham said. "Sitting in a prison cell, he's going to come out a worse person."
Oldham said his client had struggled with his sexual identity for years, attempting suicide multiple times because of his urges. Inside the Wyoming State Penitentiary, Oldham said, Lucero was not going to be able to receive counseling.
He asked that Lucero receive a split sentence: one year at the Natrona County Detention Center followed by intense supervised probation and counseling.
Skavdahl, though, told the defense attorney he had no power over what resources were available at the prison.
"I am here to pass sentence to an individual who pleaded no contest to second-degree sexual abuse of a minor," the judge said.
Reach crime reporter William Browning at (307) 266-0534 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @wtbrowning.