A Casper man pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning to nine felonies, including five counts of first-degree sexual assault.
Prosecutors allege in charging documents that Jacob Paquette, 20, raped a 17-year-old girl and an adult woman. The documents also charge Paquette with aggravated assault, felonious restraint and strangulation.
Although documents initially submitted in circuit court charged Paquette with eight felonies, in court on Wednesday, he answered to an additional count of first-degree sexual assault. Assistant District Attorney Kevin Taheri told Judge Daniel Forgey that prosecutors had amended the charges in the lower court.
Paquette appeared at the morning hearing in Natrona County District Court free on $25,000 bond. He spoke only briefly to answer procedural questions and enter his pleas with the requisite two words.
According to court documents filed this spring, police began investigating the case May 11, when the 17-year-old girl reported that Paquette assaulted her at her Natrona County home. She tried to leave a conversation with Paquette, the documents state she told police. He grabbed her to keep her from leaving and shoved her, before carrying her to a different room, the documents state she reported.
He put a pillow over her face, only releasing it when she stopped kicking her legs, the documents allege. She locked herself in a bathroom, but when she came out, Paquette raped her, the documents state she said.
The next morning, he held her down and raped her, the documents state. He kicked her in the stomach, put her in a chokehold and again raped her, the documents state she said.
When the girl arrived at Wyoming Medical Center, her body was covered with more than 30 bruises, the documents state.
About an hour after she called police, Paquette called dispatchers and asked if any reports had been made against him, according to the documents. When a dispatcher told Paquette that information was not public, he then said a girl had beat him up and he would come to police headquarters to make a report, the documents state.
About an hour and a half later, Paquette told detectives that he had tried to keep the girl from leaving the house so she would not harm herself, the documents state.
He said the two had consensual sex multiple times, according to the documents. The next morning she again threatened self harm, the documents state he told police.
Paquette said he left the home and when he called the girl, a male relative said she had called the police, according to the documents. Paquette then made his own call to dispatchers.
Detectives found a report of a sexual assault dating to September, in which a different person said Paquette had raped her, according to the documents. The documents do not indicate why that alleged assault had not yet been charged. Those allegations were merged into a single case.
Hampton Young, who represents Paquette, asked the judge to push back the set trial date. Although Taheri did not object, the judge denied the request, but he said he would be willing to revisit it as the trial draws nearer.