A Casper man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges alleging he raped a 13-year-old girl in her own home.

James C. Sanders, 28, stood next to his court-appointed attorney Dylan Rosalez in Natrona County District Court, where he entered pleas to five felonies.

He faces two counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor. The crimes are all alleged to have occurred on April 20, 2015.

Court documents filed by prosecutors allege Sanders knocked on the door and was let in by the girl’s sister. Sanders entered a bathroom that the girl and her sister were in. He told the sister to leave, according to the documents.

After the sister had left the room, Sanders “pulled down my pants, pulled down his ... and raped me,” the documents state the girl told a Children’s Advocacy Project interviewer. The girl also told the investigator that Sanders forced her to perform oral sex on him, according to the documents.

Sanders, who knew the family by way of his identical twin brother, gave a DNA swab to investigators after being served with a search warrant. Sanders’ DNA could not be excluded from samples taken from the girl’s genitals following the alleged assault, the documents state. Those samples indicated the presence of sperm, according to the documents.

On the night of the alleged assault, Sanders had been questioned by authorities about two unrelated incidents. He said he had been at the girl’s residence that night.

Sanders remained in custody Wednesday morning.

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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