Casper Businessman Tony Cercy Charged With Sexual Assault
Casper businessman and philanthropist Tony Cercy is free on a $100,000 cash-only bond after he heard charges that he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman.
Cercy, 55, is charged with three counts of sexual assault, and if convicted on all three he faces up to 85 years of imprisonment.
He was arrested Friday afternoon and booked into the Natrona County jail, where he posted bond.
The assaults on one woman allegedly occurred June 24-25, according to the charges read by Circuit Court Judge Steve Brown:
- One count of first-degree sexual assault (rape), when the perpetrator "knew or reasonably should have known that the victim was physically helpless and that the victim had not consented," which is punishable by between five and 50 years of imprisonment.
- One count of second-degree sexual assault (intrusion) "by means that prevent resistance by a victim," which is punishable by between two years to 20 years of imprisonment.
- Once count of sexual contact "without inflicting sexual intrusion and without causing serious bodily injury," which is punishable by up to 15 years of imprisonment.
Cercy's local attorney Ian Sandefer objected to the high bond, saying it was more than other defendants charged in similar cases.
Sandefer added Cercy didn't pose a flight risk because he has been a long-time Casper resident, founded numerous companies, his family is here and he owns multiple properties.
However, Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen objected to him traveling outside Wyoming.
But Sandefer responded that Cercy has started a new business and needs to travel outside the state, and his main attorney lives in Colorado.
The judge kept the $100,000 cash bond, but agreed to allow Cercy to travel within the United States. One of Cercy's companies, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, owns a Canadair Challenger twin jet and a Gulfstream IV, the latter with a range of about 4,900 miles. Both planes are based at the Casper-Natrona County International Airport.
Among the other restrictions, Brown ordered Cercy to surrender his passport. Cercy also is prohibited from possessing a firearm or consuming alcohol or any controlled substance.
On Friday afternoon, an eyewitness told K2 Radio that a group of law enforcement agents arrested Cercy at a business in the 800 block of West Yellowstone Highway.
Before the initial appearance hearing, Blonigen said five Natrona County Sheriff's deputies made the arrest, and not 20 Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents as reported elsewhere.
Later Friday afternoon, the Natrona County jail's automated voice messaging service stated the charges and that he was being held without bond.
Friday night, the voice messaging service was dismantled, and had remained dismantled as of noon today.
A staff member at the jail said Cercy had bonded out, but declined to give further details.
Cercy's roots run deep in Casper.
He was the head of Power Service and sold it last year for millions of dollars.
He has purchased several businesses in Casper including a liquor store. He is remodeling the former Botticelli's and the former Poor Boy's Steakhouse.
His son, Cole, is remodeling the Wonder Bar.
In October, Cercy announced he was donating $1 million to the downtown plaza known as the David Street Station.
In December, he donated $500,000 to Natrona County High School for scoreboards.
Besides the business and philanthropic ventures, Cercy recently criticized Casper City Council and former interim City Manager Liz Becher for the May 5 firing of former Casper Police Chief Jim Wetzel.
At the May 16 city council meeting, he told the council during the public comment session that his family is spending a lot of money in Casper.
But developers in Denver who were considering investing in Casper businesses told him they were apprehensive about putting their money here because of the news about the turmoil in city hall and the police department, Cercy said.
Those developers told him they wanted to see a positive outlook from Casper government, he said.