Casper Man Accused of Sexually Abusing Two Victims; Alleged Abuse Occurred Over 12 Years Ago
A Casper man waived a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Natrona County Circuit Court after being charged with two sex crimes, which he allegedly committed over a decade ago.
Jeffrey L. Bryden is charged with one count of indecent liberties and one count of incest. He could face up to 15 years in prison and $15,000 in fines if convicted on both charges.
Charging information filed with the court specifies the crimes are alleged to have occurred between Dec. 1, 2002 and Jan. 31, 2005.
Court documents say in September 2016, a Casper police detective was assigned to investigate a report of a sex offense after an officer spoke with a woman who said she had been sexually abused by Bryden when she was younger.
The woman who made the report to police said that on Sept. 4, 2016, she had called a family member to discuss another issue, but Bryden answered the phone.
"What, do you want me to go to prison?" Bryden allegedly said during that phone call. "I love you, there was no malice."
That victim told police that when she was abused, Bryden would enter her bedroom and wake her up by rubbing her back. Bryden allegedly pulled down the victim's pajama bottoms before rubbing her private parts.
In a police interview, the alleged victim reportedly described several instances of abuse by Bryden when she was in junior high school. She "said she had told a lot of people back then," the affidavit reads.
A report filed by the Wyoming Department of Family Services reportedly documented an incident of sexual contact in November 2004.
The phone conversation from Sept. 4, 2016, had been recorded, and the recording was forwarded to a detective.
Another alleged victim told investigators that she had moved back home for three months after breaking up with her boyfriend, and during that time Bryden sexually abused her.
Several days later, someone announced there was a "new rule in the house," and there would be no touching.
"From then on it was just dropped and they were not allowed to talk about it," court documents say.
After conducting a number of interviews, three Casper detectives on June 17, 2017 worked with a special agent of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation to record a meeting one alleged victim had arranged with Bryden at a park in Casper.
That victim and Bryden sat at a picnic table as detectives listened to and watched the conversation. During that conversation, Bryden allegedly did not deny rubbing the victim's private parts, and reportedly said he had no intentions of hurting anybody.
"It was not your fault," Bryden said, according to court documents. "I was the adult, you were the child, I made bad decisions, I should have never been in there, it just should have never f------ happened."
Four days later, Bryden agreed to speak with a detective at the Casper Police Department. In that interview, Bryden allegedly said he "wasn't prowling around the house sexually assaulting people."
Having waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday, Bryden's next court appearance will likely be an arraignment in Natrona County District Court. During that hearing, which has not yet been scheduled, Bryden will be called upon to enter a plea to each charge.
Bryden remains free on $5,000 bond.