Motion to Dismiss Denied

(Photo by Ron Richter)
(Photo by Ron Richter)

A Motion to Dismiss and Change of Plea hearing was held in Fourth Judicial District Court in Sheridan Wednesday for a Sheridan man charged with 2nd Degree Sexual Assault. Sheridan Media's Ron Richter was there and has the details.

Former Sheridan Probation and Parole Officer Chris Yager was charged with Felony Sexual Assault in the Second Degree last August for having sexual relations with a woman who was under the supervision of the Probation and Parole Office. During Wednesday's hearing, Yager's Attorney, Kevin Kessner argued that the state statute that the prosecution used as basis to charge his client, does not pertain to this case because the law does not specifically state probation and parole staff, only employees of the correctional system.

Prosecuting Attorney Dianna Bennett replied by stating that the Department of Corrections falls under the the umbrella of the correctional system and that “this statute absolutely applies to this defendant”. Judge Robert Skar denied the Motion to Dismiss, which in turn kicked in the conditional plea agreement that was reached between Yager and the prosecution that drops the charge from Second Degree Sexual Assault to Third Degree, which is still a felony punishable by no more than 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Terms of the plea agreement are for a sentence of one-and-a-half to three years in prison, to be suspended in lieu of two years supervised probation. Judge Skar entered Yager's “Guilty” plea into the record and said that sentencing will be held within 60 days. If the Court accepts the terms of the plea agreement, Yager will be allowed to appeal the sentence to the Wyoming Supreme Court.

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