Local law enforcement has declined to file charges based on allegations made by Aimee Kidd, who rallied a group of women to protest how the Casper Police Department investigates sexual assault, that she was raped last winter by Joseph “Sonny” Ramirez.
“Based on the totality of the evidence gathered by the CPD, there is insufficient proof that Joseph Ramirez sexually assaulted Kidd,” Assistant District Attorney Michael Schafer wrote in a memo last week.
Kidd, who began speaking publicly about her case before Casper City Council last fall, said that Ramirez raped her while she slept in bed with her young child in January 2016.
Water bills in Casper spiked in July. Or maybe they didn’t. But either way, Aimee Kidd showe…
Kidd filed a police report two months later after finding she was pregnant and realizing that Ramirez had been at her house around the date of conception.
Schafer’s memo suggests Kidd acted vindictively toward Ramirez after she discovered that he had given her and his ex-girlfriend the same gift on Valentine’s Day.
“Evidence also indicates that Kidd became pregnant with her sixth child, which several have different fathers, and she was worried about her reputation,” Schafer wrote.
Reached Tuesday, Kidd criticized the memo but declined to comment further.
Investigation describes incident
Kidd did not recall what happened on the night that she alleges that Ramirez raped her but said she woke up naked from the waist down and with an unusually strong hangover incommensurate to the amount she drank.
Kidd’s friend Heidi Anderson, who was also at Kidd’s house on the night in question, told police that Ramirez asked if he could spend the night and said he and Kidd could “just cuddle.”
Anderson said that Kidd did not respond and that she believes Kidd went alone to her bedroom, where her child was sleeping.
“Well, I’m just going to cuddle with her,” Anderson said Ramirez told her.
Ramirez told police that Kidd asked him whether he was spending the night and that the two had consensual sex.
While Schafer notes that Anderson’s account suggests Ramirez may have been lying, he credits Ramirez with “not being secret about wanting to spend the night with Kidd and wanting to crawl into bed to cuddle.”
“The fact that Kidd does not recollect the events of January 30, 2016, does not establish proof that she was physically helpless at the time the intercourse occurred,” Schafer wrote.
The investigation revealed text messages between Kidd and Ramirez from the next morning in which Ramirez mentions spending the night.
“It was too dark n u kept pushing me off the bed,” Ramirez wrote.
Kidd did not tell Ramirez at this point that she did not want to have sex with or date him, Schafer wrote.
“Much of the information gathered as part of the investigation indicated just the opposite, that there was a continuing, somewhat intimate, relationship, that occurred between January 30, 2016 and early March, 2016,” Schafer stated.
He notes that Ramirez stayed at Kidd’s house again several days after Jan. 30, the date that she alleged he raped her.
While the language of the report makes it unclear who offered this account, the memo states that Kidd contacted Ramirez around the first week of March and asked him when they were “first together.”
Kidd said she was pregnant and was trying to determine the father. Kidd asked Ramirez whether he believed someone had drugged her that night, and Ramirez said no.
On March 3, Kidd sent Ramirez a photo of an ultrasound on Facebook.
“It looks Kool. I got 3 kids n never saw that,” Ramirez replied.
He added, “It takes two so just don’t blame me.”
Kidd said she knew that Ramirez did not drug her but wondered if someone else had. She recalled “small pecks on the lips at the bar and that is it.”
“I don’t sleep around,” Kidd said. “I would never sleep with u. I mean, I love ya to death...but I’m not interested in u that way at all. I figured you knew that.”
“No I didn’t,” Ramirez wrote back. “U were all in to me the first night n told me u want me to come in n cuddle u all night... I figured u were really in to me after the first night n u told that other fool to get lost. guess I was the fool ... I feel like you lead me on.”
“I just have a flirty personality,” Kidd replied. “I didn’t mean to.”
Ramirez told police that Kidd became “hateful” after she found out in February that he had given her the same Valentine’s Day gift as his ex-girlfriend, with whom he’d recently reconnected.
Schafer’s memo is based on a 58-page report submitted to the District Attorney’s Office by Casper police Detective Tiffany Elhart. That report is not publicly available.
District Attorney Mike Blonigen said his office could not comment on the investigation or the decision not to file charges in the case.
“We can not even acknowledge we reviewed the case,” he wrote in an email. “In essence, the law prevents meaningful discussions about why a sexual assault case is not filed. Horrible law.”
Ramirez’s attorney Don Fuller provided a copy of the memo to the Star-Tribune. Fuller said the memo showed police thoroughly investigated the case and that Kidd’s claims were unfounded.
Schafer’s memo cites several inconsistencies between the account Kidd provided to police and evidence discovered during the investigation.
For example, text messages and Facebook communication confirm that Ramirez and Kidd met earlier in January. But Kidd told investigators that she did not recall that initial meeting, “which raises concerns that she does not recollect things very well when she has been drinking.”
The memo also notes that Kidd messaged Ramirez to tell him that she was at the bar before he arrived.
A bartender told police that Kidd had been arguing with a man at the bar and that Ramirez escorted Kidd out of the bar to calm her at the request of the bartender.
The police investigation also found that in the weeks following the night on which Kidd said Ramirez raped her, the two “were messaging each other in a flirtatious manner, spending time together, and going out on dates.”
“Kidd did not, or could not, provide this same information to Detective Elhart.”
A different CPD detective determined that it appeared some messages between Ramirez and Kidd were missing from Kidd’s cellphone, “which leads one to believe there are missing messages that were deleted.”
Kidd first described her case to City Council in September and criticized what she considered a slow response from police.
Several other women soon came forward with similar complaints regarding how CPD investigated sexual assault and domestic violence crimes.
Parts of the memo appear to back some of Kidd’s criticism. She has stated that throughout the fall the police had not interviewed Ramirez. The memo states that the first interview with him took place in February — nearly a year after Kidd filed her initial report and months after she went public at Council meetings.
Due to legal restrictions, police Chief Jim Wetzel has been unable to speak publicly about any of the women’s specific cases, but he has defended his department’s sexual assault investigation process.
It’s uncertain whether the decision to close Kidd’s case without filing charges will affect the chorus of complaints about CPD’s response to sexual assault reports.
Amanda Huckabay was elected to Council in November on a platform that prominently included improving police response to such cases, and Council recently approved a plan to bring an outside firm to comprehensively review the police department.