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Wyoming Supreme Court Upholds Probation Officer's Conviction for Sexual Assault

Christopher Yager was employed by the Wyoming Department of Corrections (DOC) as a probation officer when he began supervising M.C. as a result of her participation in drug treatment. She completed the treatment, and his supervision of her ended. However, while she was under the supervision of another probation officer, he began a sexual relationship with her.

Her probation was revoked due to drug use, and the relationship ended. She reported the relationship, and he was charged with second-degree sexual assault under a statute that prohibits sex between an employee of a state correctional system and a person under the supervision of a state correctional system.

In a pretrial motion, he challenged whether a probation officer was an employee of a state correctional system and whether a probationer was under its supervision. Basically, he alleged it only applied to prisoners and prison employees. The motion was denied, and he accepted a plea bargain and received an 18 to 36 month prison sentence suspended with two years of probation imposed.

Yager appealed the denial of the motion. Using the definition of"correctional system" found in Black's Law Dictionary, the Supreme Court of Wyoming held that the statute was unambiguous. Under that definition, the DOC was a correctional system employing Yager, and M.C. was under its supervision when the sexual assault occurred. The denial of the motion to dismiss was affirmed. See: Yager v. State, Wyo. S.Ct. No. S-15-0045 (October 30, 2015).

 

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Related legal case

Yager v. State, Wyo. S.Ct.

 

 

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