Tony Cercy Pleads Not Guilty To Sexual Assault Charges In Natrona County District Court
Tony Cercy pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexual assault involving a 20-year-old woman during his arraignment in Natrona County District Court on Wednesday.
Cercy, accompanied by his attorneys Ian Sandefer and Pam Mackey, entered his pleas before Judge Daniel Forgey.
He remains free on a $100,000 cash bond.
However, defense attorneys and Assistant District Attorney Mike Schafer said the tentative three-day trial set for January was not adequate.
Mackey said the trial probably would require six days.
Because of possible scheduling problems, Forgey said the trial date may be later than the 180-day period allotted for the right to a speedy trial.
Forgey asked Cercy if he would be willing to waive his right to a speedy trial. Cercy said he would.
Mackey said she wants a trial as soon as possible, but realizes the legal proceedings may require exceeding the speedy trial timetable.
Forgey said he will vacate the current January trial setting.
Cercy was arrested July 28, and heard the charges against him on July 31.
He is charged with:
- 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.
- One 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 was bound over for trial after a two-hour preliminary hearing on Aug. 17.
Court records say the alleged victim told a Natrona County Sheriff's investigator she, her boyfriend, friends and acquaintances arrived at Alcova Lake on the evening of June 23 and spend the next day at the lake. She was drinking heavily and passed out on the rear deck of a boat at Sandy Beach.
On Saturday evening, they went to another location and about 9:45 p.m. went to a residence on Cedar Drive North owned by Cercy.
She said she went into the residence and passed out on the couch in the middle of the living room.
She woke up, looked down and saw Cercy performing oral sex. She pushed him away and asked what he was doing, and he responded he was trying to "'get some action'" from her for the last hour with his "'tongue and "d---,'" according to the affidavit.
Nearly all of her clothing had been removed and Cercy was naked from the waist down, according to the affidavit.
The alleged victim said he threatened to kill her, according to court records.
Other witnesses corroborated the alleged victim's story.
The victim told one witness "'T raped me,'" according to the affidavit. That witness also had 19 missed calls from the victim's phone.
Another witness received a text message from the victim about 3:21 a.m. June 25 that said, "'Help please.'"
However, Cercy told the investigator, "C made a comment to the effect of, it didn't happen the way you think it happened. C then ended the interview," according to the affidavit.
Cercy has had a long business and philanthropic history in Casper.
Cercy was the head of Power Service in Mills 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 Boticelli's and the former Poor Boy's Steakhouse.
Last year, Cercy announced he was donating $1 million to the downtown plaza known as the David Street Station.
He also donated $500,000 to Natrona County High School for scoreboards.
However, the Natrona County School District recently returned that gift.