A Natrona County man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 11 charges of sexual assault alleging he repeatedly raped a child, attempted to molest another girl and forcibly raped a 17-year-old girl.
Michael A. Griswold, 43, faces six counts of first-degree sexual assault of a minor, one count of first-degree sexual assault, three counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count of indecent liberties with a minor. He could face an effective life sentence if convicted on all charges.
Griswold, dressed in orange jail garb, appeared in Natrona County District Court to say “Not guilty, sir.”
After Griswold entered his pleas, defense attorney Ian Sandefer asked judge Daniel Forgey to reduce his client’s bond from $500,000 to $100,000.
Sandefer acknowledged that the allegations against his client were serious, but also described them as “defensible.” He said Griswold, who has lived in Natrona County his entire life and has family in the area, is not a flight risk.
Prosecutor Kevin Taheri asked for the bond to remain the same, mentioning that he intended to introduce a “substantial” amount of evidence regarding Griswold’s character.
The judge said he would reduce Griswold’s bond to $250,000 cash or surety and set a pretrial conference for an as-yet undetermined date.
Taheri said he would like to hold a five-day trial, which could be agreed to at the pretrial conference.
Griswold had initially faced a total of eight charges, but after reading a news report of his Aug. 15 court appearance, a third victim came forward. Two charges were struck down by a circuit court judge on jurisdictional issues, leaving the total he is facing at 11.