The attorney for a prominent Casper businessman standing trial for sexual assault sought Wednesday to suggest there were inconsistencies in the alleged victim’s story.
Pamela Mackey, a Denver attorney representing Tony Cercy, cross-examined the woman during the third day of trial in Natrona County District Court. On Tuesday, the woman had testified Cercy sexually assaulted her on a couch at his Alcova lake house this summer.
Cercy is facing three felony counts of sexual assault in the case. He has pleaded not guilty.
While Mackey sought to highlight apparent inconsistencies in the woman’s statements, the alleged victim pushed back on some occasions.
For example, Mackey at one point asked the woman about two people to whom the lawyer said the woman had reported the alleged assault.
“I don’t know who those people are,” the woman said.
Mackey had both names wrong.
After Mackey’s cross examination of the woman ceased around 10:30 a.m., the alleged victim’s father and former boyfriend took the stand in succession. Both mostly corroborated the woman’s account of her reports to them. Cercy’s defense team has attempted to cast doubt on the reliability of the alleged victim’s testimony.
In the afternoon, a sexual assault nurse and three people who were at Cercy’s lake house hours before the assault is alleged to have taken place also testified.
The alleged victim took the stand at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, after giving about four hours of testimony on Tuesday.
Mackey continued her cross-examination by asking the woman about a series of phone calls she said she made after waking to Cercy performing oral sex on her in the early morning of June 25.
Mackey asked if the woman had repeatedly called a friend after she knew where the friend was. The alleged victim told the jury she did.
The woman also told jurors she repeatedly refused to have a sexual assault examination performed in the days following the alleged assault. She also made internet searches during that time period in an attempt to determine for how long sexual assault examinations are valid.
Cercy is also being represented by local attorney Ian Sandefer and Jeff Pagliuca, who works in the same Denver law firm as Mackey.
After being asked about a separate incident at a Casper bar earlier this year in which Cercy is alleged to have bought the then-20-year-old a drink, the woman said her then-boyfriend got into a shoving match with an unidentified friend of Cercy’s. The woman and her then-boyfriend were expelled from the bar.
Mackey said the woman had previously misstated the date of the incident. When the attorney asked if the incident took place in January, rather than weeks before the alleged assault, the woman said it did not.
“I was in Italy in January,” the woman said.
The woman’s father then testified that he had been out of the country on vacation when the assault is alleged to have taken place.
He said Cercy called his daughter during a conversation in which she reported the alleged assault to her father.
The woman gave her father the phone, he said. Cercy said he had been trying to reach the father and the father said he would handle the situation in a different way, according to the father’s testimony.
When the ex-boyfriend took the stand, he largely recounted the same details the alleged victim gave. He was not in the area of Alcova lake when the assault is alleged to have taken place.
Under examination by District Attorney Mike Blonigen, the former boyfriend told the jury he awoke around noon on June 25 to 19 or 20 missed calls. He said the calls came from the alleged victim and another number that later turned out to belong to her friend.
The then-boyfriend said the woman described the assault to him the same day, in the same fashion as she described it in court Tuesday.
Under cross-examination, the ex-boyfriend said the alleged victim was riding in the bed of a utility vehicle. Mackey later implied that bruising on the woman’s legs may have been a result of riding in the utility vehicle.
The Star-Tribune is not identifying the woman’s father or boyfriend in order to keep from identifying her in the process. The Star-Tribune does not identify alleged victims of sex crimes.
Nurse describes exam
Rebecca Fleming, the nurse who examined the woman three days after the alleged assault, then took the stand. During the exam, the woman reported an assault that was largely consistent with what the woman testified to in court, according to Fleming’s testimony.
The woman made minimal eye contact and held the hem of her hospital gown during the exam, the nurse said.
“She was calm but upset,” Fleming said.
Fleming also said the exam showed no injuries to the woman’s genitalia. She explained that the lack of injuries did not suggest one way or another whether an assault had occurred.
Casper police Detective John Hatcher took the stand next. He was the first of three people to testify that they had been at Cercy’s house about two hours before the assault is alleged to have occurred.
Hatcher, who was off-duty at the time, did not know Cercy before June 24, and was invited by a mutual friend, he told the jury.
Hatcher saw the alleged victim passed out on Cercy’s couch, but was not concerned for her safety, he testified. He said he did not speak to Cercy and left the lake house around 1 a.m. on June 25.
Marci Durtsche, a local elementary school teacher, also testified that she was present at the house until about 1 a.m.
During her time on the stand, prosecutors introduced a video that shows the alleged victim passed out on Cercy’s couch. While she sleeps, shouting can be heard from off-screen, but the woman does not respond.
No dog barked in response to the raised voices, Durtsche said. Mackey has said since Monday that dogs in the house would have barked if they heard the assault the woman has alleged. The alleged victim did not describe barking dogs in her statements to investigators or court testimony.
During the video, a man can be heard shouting “Hey, hottie!”
Erik Alberts, an employee of Cercy’s old company Power Services who testified next, said that voice was Cercy’s. Alberts described Cercy as his professional mentor.
Another statement is made at the beginning of the video, which Alberts said was referring to a dog licking the sleeping woman’s face.
The statement is made as the 10-second video begins. Alberts agreed with Blonigen that the entirety of the first word cannot be heard in the video, but it is clear that it ends with “-ck.”
The trial was scheduled to resume at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.