As we first reported last Friday, Sheridan probation and parole officer, Chris Yager, was charged this month with a felony count of sexual assault against a former client. Yager appeared before Circuit Court Judge Shelley Cundiff Tuesday, and was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.
Both Yager's defense attorney, Kevin Kessner, and Matt Redle, representing the state, agreed on the bond conditions. Public Information Officer for the Wyoming Department of Corrections, Mark Horan, says Yager was placed on leave in May, as per rules for state personnel and his case remains under review.
In the charging documents, the state alleges that a sexual relationship began in January with the alleged victim, a woman he formerly supervised in 2010 while she was going through drug court.
The Prison Rape Elimination Act, passed by Congress in 2003, applies to all public and private institutions that house adult or juvenile offenders and is also relevant to community-based agencies. The National Institute of Corrections says the legislation addresses both inmate-on-inmate sexual abuse as well as staff sexual misconduct.
The alleged victim and Yager began their relationship as friends, according to court records, but the two kept in contact after she finished her drug court term in August 2012. The state alleges in the charging documents Yager and the woman then began a sexual relationship, extending into his workplace.
As an employee of the Wyoming Department of Corrections, the state alleges Yager inflicted criminal sexual intrusion against the woman. She explained to law enforcement during the investigation that given the circumstances of their relationship, she was scared of going to the probation office.
Judge Cundiff approved bond, on the conditions Yager be booked in the Sheridan County Detention Center, have no contact with the alleged victim, lead a law-abiding life and stay in contact with his attorney. Sexual assault in the second degree is a felony punishable by no less than two years in prison and no more than 20 years, a fine of no more than $10,000 – or both.
The date of Yager's next appearance in Circuit Court has not yet been set.