Levi Zitterkopf

Levi Zitterkopf

Courtesy of the Casper Police Department

A Casper man charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl pleaded not guilty by reason of mental deficiency at his arraignment Monday.

Through his attorney, Levi Zitterkopf entered the plea to the single count of first-degree sexual assault in his case. He will later undergo a mental competency exam at the Wyoming State Hospital.

At his arraignment, Zitterkopf told Natrona County District Court Judge Catherine Wilking that he was in special education classes until eighth grade.

Zitterkopf briefly appeared on a History Channel show that chronicled the work of logging crews cross the country, including a business owned by his father. According to his Internet Movie Database profile, Zitterkopf appeared in six episodes of “Ax Men.”

The teen’s family initially contacted police on Aug. 11 after a hickey appeared on her neck, according to court documents. The teen told police that she met Zitterkopf when her family moved into the same house where he had been living. She said Zitterkopf had attempted to kiss her multiple times and later held her and forcibly kissed her on the mouth without her consent.

In an interview at the Children’s Advocacy Project more than three weeks later, the girl told investigators that Zitterkopf had not only forcibly kissed her but had forcibly touched her genitals as well.

The young woman said she was was about to go upstairs with her other siblings when Zitterkopf grabbed her and pulled her toward the downstairs couch. She said Zitterkopf then pinned her down, pulled off her pants and underwear and sexually assaulted her, according to the documents. She said she tried to hold on to her pants and underwear while Zitterkopf pulled them off, but he overpowered her.

“I kept trying to get away from him and I just couldn’t get away from him so I waited until he was done...,” the girl told investigators, the documents show.

A detective then interviewed Zitterkopf at the Natrona County Detention Center, where he was being held on unrelated charges. Zitterkopf said he was confused by the accusation and didn’t know who the girl was.

“I don’t know who it is, I don’t know who the girl is, I’ve never seen her, I’m not sure who you’re talking about, I don’t understand what this is all about,” Zitterkopf told the detective before ending the interview, according to the documents.

After talking with other family members, the detective “determined Zitterkopf was not being truthful” about not knowing the girl.

A sexual assault exam that was completed on Aug. 11 found evidence that was consistent with the girl’s statement, the documents state. Along with irritation to her genitals, the girl had redness and discoloration on the inside of her thigh, her arms, shoulders and back.

Prosecutors charged Zitterkopf with first-degree sexual assault in September. If convicted, Zitterkopf could face up to 50 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He remained in custody Monday afternoon.

Since March 2016, Zitterkopf has been booked into jail six separate times on suspicion of a variety of crimes including vandalism, driving with a suspended license and failure to comply.

Follow crime and courts reporter Elise Schmelzer on Twitter @eliseschmelzer

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Elise Schmelzer joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 after graduating from the University of Missouri and interning at newspapers around the country. As features editor, she oversees arts and culture coverage and reports stories on a broad variety of topics.

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