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Authorities suspect Casper businessman Tony Cercy raped an unconscious 20-year-old woman who had been sleeping on a couch during a lake house gathering last month, new court documents show. 

The woman was attending a party the night of June 24 at a home on Cedar Drive North near Alcova Lake when she fell asleep on the couch. She told investigators that she woke to Cercy performing oral sex on her. She said that she immediately pushed him away, but Cercy said he had been trying to "get some action" from her for the past hour, according to her statements to investigators.

She told investigators that she fell asleep fully clothed but woke up with only a bra on. She said Cercy was naked from the waist down. 

The woman told authorities that Cercy threatened to kill her and another unnamed person if she told anybody about the incident, according to the documents. 

Prosecutors formally charged Cercy on Monday with three sex crimes related to the alleged assault. Cercy, 55, faces separate charges of first-, second- and third-degree sexual assault. The charges state the alleged victim was physically helpless at the time of the incident, which is defined in Wyoming statute as "unconscious, asleep or otherwise physically unable to communicate unwillingness to act."

He appeared in Natrona County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon, three days after his arrest in downtown Casper. He was free after posting a $100,000 cash bond.

Investigators interviewed at least 10 people who were at the home that night. Multiple people said they saw the woman asleep on the couch and that she was not responding to loud noises or attempts to wake her. Others said that she had permission to sleep on the couch for the night. One witness showed investigators a video that portrayed the woman passed out on the couch and covered in a blanket. The woman told investigators she had been drinking that day.

Friends told investigators that the woman contacted them in the early hours of June 25 to report what had happened and to ask for help. One friend said they received a text message from the woman at about 3:21 a.m. asking for help. Another said that the woman called them the next morning and said that Cercy had raped her. That friend had 19 missed calls from the woman between 3:17 and 4:05 a.m.

Cercy willingly went to the Natrona County Sheriff's Office on June 28 so that investigators could collect a sample of his DNA. During that process, he made a comment that the incident "didn't happen the way you think it happened," according to the court documents.

Cercy did not speak in court Monday, and his family filled the back row of the courtroom. He was represented by Casper attorney Ian Sandefer.

Sandefer did not immediately respond to a message left late Monday afternoon at his office.

Judge Steven Brown ordered Cercy to surrender his passport but allowed him to travel within the United States for business. Often, defendants are not allowed to leave Natrona County.

Cercy's next court appearance will come during a preliminary hearing, likely within a month. At that hearing, a judge will decide whether enough evidence exists for the case to proceed to district court. 

Law enforcement officers arrested Cercy on Friday and booked him into jail. A merchant on the 800 block of Old Yellowstone Highway told the Star-Tribune that he saw roughly 20 officers arrest the businessman at about 2:30 p.m. 

Cercy has invested widely in Casper since selling his manufacturing company, Power Service Inc., in April 2016. He helped his son, Cole, buy the Wonder Bar and Poor Boys Steakhouse and donated $1 million to the David Street Station downtown plaza and $500,000 to Natrona County High School for a new digital scoreboard. 

Gov. Matt Mead toured the Wonder Bar with Cole Cercy on Friday, according to a photo posted at noon to the family business’ Instagram account.

Follow crime and courts reporter Elise Schmelzer on Twitter @eliseschmelzer

 

 

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