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Tony Cercy

Tony Cercy makes his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on July 31 in Casper. The Casper business owner faces a single count of sexual assault.

Attorneys for Casper businessman Tony Cercy filed a petition to the Wyoming Supreme Court, seeking his acquittal on a third-degree sexual assault charge that resulted in a hung jury in February.

A Natrona County District Court judicial assistant on March 28 set a hearing for April 19 where prosecutors will argue for Cercy to be re-tried on the charge.

District Attorney Mike Blonigen wrote in March 9 court filings that the jury was “strongly in favor” of convicting the prominent Casper businessman on the count. He was found not guilty by the same jury in February of two additional counts of sexual assault.

In Wyoming Supreme Court filings, Cercy’s attorney argues to have a motion for acquittal, denied in District Court, heard by the state’s highest court. The lawyers argue that the first-degree and second-degree acquittals and the testimony given at trial means “there was insufficient evidence to sustain a third-degree sexual assault conviction.”

The motion also calls for the court to impose a limitation on issues heard in re-trial, if the Supreme Court denies the first request.

Although Cercy was represented at trial by Denver attorneys Jeff Pagliuca and Pamela Mackey along with local attorney Ian Sandefer, the filing was signed by Laramie lawyer Tim Newcomb.

Newcomb did not answer a Friday afternoon call for comment. His voicemail box was not set up.

The Wyoming Attorney General’s office would be handling the prosecution’s response to the appeal, District Attorney Mike Blonigen said.

The district attorney’s office is still anticipating and preparing for an April 19 hearing in Natrona County District Court, Blonigen said.

Cercy testified at trial that he did not have sexual contact with the woman.

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 testified that after immediately pushing him away, Cercy told her he had been trying to wake her by performing sexual acts on her.

The woman, who was 20 at the time, 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. 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 voluntarily 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.

Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson


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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