A man who allegedly said he "did not know it was illegal" to rape his wife entered a guilty plea Monday in Natrona County District Court.

James Erwin Furley, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree sexual assault. It's a reduced charge, which was initially filed as first-degree sexual assault. The crime to which Furley pleaded guilty carries a maximum 15 years in prison and $10,000 fine.

Two other counts of first-degree sexual assault charged against Furley were dismissed.

However, Furley's guilty plea is what's known as a 'cold plea,' meaning Assistant District Attorney Brett Johnson will be free to argue for the maximum penalty when Furley is sentenced at a later date.

Charging papers say the victim reported the alleged assaults on June 25. She reportedly said Furley assaulted her twice on June 7, despite her telling him to stop.

"The more you beg, the more I'm going to keep doing it," Furley allegedly told the victim during the second assault.

According to court documents, the victim told the investigator that Furley had raped her numerous times during their marriage. She said she was scared of Furley and planned to divorce him.

Since she planned to leave Furley, the victim said she made audio recordings of her interactions with him for several months in order to demonstrate how Furley treated her and their children when no one else was around.

The victim presented the investigator with a series of audio recordings. The investigator reviewed those recordings and detailed two alleged assaults in his affidavit.

A recording from the morning of June 11 contains Furley's alleged admission to sexually assaulting the victim.

"The more you resisted, the more I liked it," Furley allegedly told the victim.

The victim had an anonymous sexual assault examination done at Wyoming Medical Center a couple of days after the alleged assaults on June 7 and gave permission for the Natrona County Sheriff's Office to use the biological kit from that exam during the investigation.

Records from the biological kit showed the victim had injuries consistent with her claim that Furley raped her.

The investigator interviewed Furley on the afternoon of June 30. During that interview, Furley reportedly said he never continued any sexual intercourse with the victim if she told him to stop.

Then, the investigator played the victim's audio recordings of the alleged assaults. After hearing the recordings, Furley reportedly said he had "taken things too far."

"I did not know it was illegal to rape my wife," Furley allegedly told the investigator.


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