A Paradise Valley man charged with the 2015 sexual assault of a girl who was then 13 years old pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in Natrona County District Court on Wednesday.

James C. Sanders, who was 28 when he was arrested, faces two counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of third-degree sexual assault. He could face 10-155 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Sanders waived his preliminary hearing in Natrona County Circuit Court on June 7. His bond was set at $100,000 during his initial appearance in Circuit Court on May 31.

During the hearing Wednesday, Judge Daniel Forgey read the charges. Sanders conferred with his public defender Dylan Rosalez, and entered the not guilty plea.

Forgey said a trial date will be set later.

Court records say the case began when a Mills Police officer was assigned to investigate a reported sex offense on the night of April 20, 2015.

The alleged victim, who was 13 at the time, later told a forensic interviewer that she had been at home watching television with her sisters while her mother was not home. The victim heard a knock on the front door, and one of her sisters opened the door.

Sanders allegedly pushed his way into the house and spoke to another girl for a moment.
The alleged victim and another girl went into the bathroom. Sanders then reportedly entered the bathroom, forced the other girl out, and forced the victim to perform oral sex on him.

The victim's mother arrived home at about 8:30 p.m. as the victim exited the bathroom. She told her mother that "James came into the house and had sex with me, he had me pinned and I didn't want to."

Court records say Sanders was involved in two unrelated incidents in Mills on April 20, 2015 -- the same night that the sexual assault had occurred. An officer had taken a report of property damage and a Family Violence Protection Act protection order violation.

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