Prosecutors will retry Tony Cercy on a single count of third-degree sexual assault.
The decision came in court filings submitted Wednesday, 13 days after jurors found the prominent Casper businessman not guilty of first- and second-degree sexual assault. Judge Daniel Forgey declared a mistrial on a third count when jurors could not come to a unanimous decision after a day and a half of deliberations.
District Attorney Mike Blonigen said Thursday afternoon that he had been in contact with jurors, both directly and through third parties, in an attempt to learn what had occurred during deliberations. He declined to specify what he had learned from those conversations or what the final vote count was.
The prosecutor cited the “compelling nature of the victim’s testimony” and his perception of the case as strong as reasons for seeking a second trial.
“It’s an important case that deserves a complete resolution,” Blonigen said.
Cercy’s Colorado attorney Pamela Mackey declined to comment Thursday afternoon.
If convicted, Cercy could face up to 15 years in prison.
The third-degree sexual assault charge will be simplified, Blonigen indicated in the court documents.
The charge originally asked jurors to determine which of two possible acts Cercy may have performed on the victim. During deliberations, jurors asked for clarification on the charge.
During the trial, the alleged victim told jurors that she woke to Cercy performing oral sex on her on a couch in his Alcova Lake house. She said that she immediately pushed him away, but Cercy said he had been trying to wake her by performing sexual acts on her.
She testified that she fell asleep fully clothed but woke with only a bra on. She said Cercy was naked from the waist down. The woman told authorities that Cercy threatened to kill her if she told anybody about the incident.
Cercy also testified during the trial. He denied having any sexual contact with the woman, who was 20 at the time. He told jurors that he was asleep at the time the woman alleged he’d sexually assaulted her.
Defense attorneys presented evidence suggesting the assault could not have happened because Cercy’s dogs would have woken and barked. The woman’s testimony did not include any mention of barking dogs.
Friends told investigators that the woman contacted them in the early hours of June 25 to report allegations of assault and to ask for help. One friend said they received a text message from the woman at about 3:21 a.m. asking for help. Another said that the woman called them the next morning and said that Cercy had raped her.
Cercy willingly went to the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office on June 28 so that investigators could collect a sample of his DNA. He was arrested July 28.
Three days later, Cercy was charged with one count each of first-, second- and third-degree sexual assault.