Three women testified Tuesday that a man now on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage girl had also assaulted them in the past.
Levi Zitterkopf, who is known for appearing briefly on a reality TV show, was never charged in relation to the allegations brought by the three women. He faces a single charge of first-degree sexual assault in the trial, which relates to a separate 2016 incident involving a then 16-year-old girl.
Two of the women who testified Tuesday in Natrona County District Court said Zitterkopf assaulted them in 2011, when they were in their early teens. One woman said Zitterkopf assaulted her when they were classmates at Dean Morgan Middle School. Another said Zitterkopf assaulted her in a public park the same year. The third said Zitterkopf assaulted her when she was 19 and then stole her car. All three women were roughly the same age as the defendant, and all are now adults.
During cross-examination, Zitterkopf’s two attorneys challenged the three women’s initial reticence to come forward and noted that Zitterkopf was never arrested in relation to their allegations.
For jurors to consider the uncharged evidence, they must determine that the allegations are more likely than not to have occurred. If the jury arrives at that conclusion, it can use the uncharged conduct to determine the defendant’s motive, intent, course of conduct or to weigh against claims that the charged allegation was fabricated, according to jury instructions.
Zitterkopf can only be convicted in the case if the jury unanimously determines that the underlying sexual assault charge has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Alleged victims’ testimony
Prosecutor Kevin Taheri began the second day of trial by calling Zitterkopf’s first accuser, who said she did not know the defendant before the day he assaulted her.
The woman said she went to a park with her friend in 2011, when Zitterkopf arrived with three other boys. She said she wandered off to text her then-boyfriend while Zitterkopf followed, pushing a bicycle. Zitterkopf tried to steal her phone, she said, which she initially took to be playful. Zitterkopf grabbed her in an attempt to assault her, she said, leaving blood on her undergarments.
“I tried to push him off, but he was a lot stronger than I was,” she said.
Under-cross examination, the woman told Rob Oldham, Zitterkopf’s attorney, that she was never forensically examined for sexual assault. She said she reported the alleged assault to police, but Zitterkopf was not arrested or prosecuted. She also said that their middle school issued a protection order against Zitterkopf, which he did not violate.
The second woman to testify Tuesday said she was 19 when Zitterkopf raped her in her car. She told the jury that she and the defendant had gone to buy methamphetamine, but failed. Zitterkopf then forced himself upon her, she said. After struggling, she “gave up,” she said. Zitterkopf then took her car, she said.
The woman, who said she has not used meth in more than a year, went to police but decided not to pursue charges against Zitterkopf once she got her car back.
“At that point I just wanted my car back,” she told Oldham.
After a psychologist testified and the court broke for lunch, a third woman took the stand to say Zitterkopf had reached down her pants in their middle school cooking class.
The woman said she had previously dated Zitterkopf but never had sexual contact with him or consented to such contact.
She told defense attorney Patrick Lewallen that a refrigerator in the classroom blocked their classmates’ and teacher’s ability to see the assault. None of their classmates saw what she had described, she told Lewallen.
Zitterkopf remained free on bond Tuesday. If convicted, he could face up to 50 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Closing arguments are expected Wednesday morning.