Casper Pastor Pleads No Contest to Strangulation; Takes Plea Deal
A Casper pastor who prosecutors say severely battered a woman over a 14-year period took a plea deal in Natrona County District Court Tuesday morning.
Raul Adam Sanchez pleaded no contest to a single count of strangulation of a household member. In exchange for that plea, prosecutors will ask for no more than a 5-year suspended prison sentence.
Judge Kerri M. Johnson would determine Sanchez's probation conditions should she accept the plea agreement. In exchange for Sanchez's no contest plea, all other charges in the case were dropped.
Casper police arrested Sanchez in August on seven counts of aggravated assault, two counts of strangulation of a household member and one count of domestic battery.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges in October.
Sanchez could have faced up to 90 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Sanchez "routinely" punched and kicked the victim. The victim told Casper police that one of Sanchez's "favorite" things to do was grab her by the hair when they were in a vehicle and slam her head against a car window.
At the time of Sanchez's arrest, he was a pastor at Living Rock Foursquare Church in Casper. He often invoked God when he beat the victim, the affidavit says.
The affidavit describes an undated incident in which Sanchez allegedly made the victim strip naked in his office at NOWCAP. The victim said that she did so out of fear that Sanchez would beat her.
At the time of the incident, NOWCAP Executive Director Renate Pullen declined to confirm Sanchez's employment status per the advice of the company's attorney. His photo and contact information was removed from the NOWCAP website within hours of his arrest being made public.