A Casper man pleaded not guilty on Wednesday morning before a Natrona County judge to a single count of first-degree sexual assault.
Michael Baird, 27, entered his plea by video from Natrona County Detention Center, where he is being held in lieu of a $50,000 bond requirement.
Prosecutor allege in court documents supporting the charge that Baird in May held a then-pregnant woman down and raped her.
Baird has previously been accused of a similar assault. In 2017, a jury found him not guilty of a single count each of first-degree sexual assault and attempted first-degree sexual assault against a teenager.
The documents filed in the most recent case state that police began investigating in May, when the alleged victim arrived at a local hospital and reported she had been sexually assaulted. She told an officer that she had allowed Baird to stay temporarily at her house while she was between leases.
Baird went out to celebrate his release from probation in a different case, the documents state the woman said. When he returned, she told him to sleep on a couch as he had been for weeks, the documents state.
The woman said that Baird instead went into her bedroom and held her down in order to rape her, the documents allege.
Police shortly after took Baird’s blood and collected biological evidence from his body, which indicated that Baird’s DNA was present on the woman. Her DNA was also present on him, the documents state.
Although the woman reported the alleged assault within hours, police did not provide charging information to prosecutors until January, the documents indicate. Baird was charged in February. The reason for the delay is not specified in the documents.
Although Baird asked on Wednesday for Judge Daniel Forgey to reduce his bond, the judge declined to do so. Baird remained in custody following the morning hearing.
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