Second Sexual Assault Trial for Casper Businessman Tony Cercy Starts Friday
Casper businessman Tony Cercy will go on trial again on one count of third-degree sexual assault, this time at the Hot Springs County Courthouse in Thermpolis on Friday.
The trial comes nine months after a jury in February acquitted Cercy on counts of first- and second-degree sexual assault of a 20-year-old woman at his former home at Alcova lake in June 2017.
The jury deadlocked on a count of third-degree sexual assault, and Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey declared a mistrial.
In March, District Attorney Mike Blonigen filed a motion to try Cercy again on the third-degree count.
In May, the Wyoming Supreme Court, without comment, denied a petition from Cercy to either acquit him, or limit evidence at a retrial, of a charge of third-degree sexual assault.
Cercy and his defense team Pamela Mackey of Denver and Ian Sandefer of Casper asked Natrona County District Court to change the venue of the next trial from Casper because of the pervasive media coverage before, during and after the trial in February.
In June, Forgey granted the request
Both sides have filed numerous pre-trial motions and responses to those motions, the most recent being a one to dismiss the case because a retrial would violate Cercy's constitutional right to not be tried twice for the same crime.
The most recent challenge happened Tuesday when Cercy's defense team took the double jeopardy question to the Wyoming Supreme Court, arguing the case -- and the trial -- be put on hold until the high court settles the question. Wednesday afternoon, the high court denied the petition.
Friday, jury selection from Hot Springs County residents is expected to begin with the empaneling of the jury the same day.
The trial resumes Tuesday and continues through Nov. 16, and is scheduled to resume Nov. 19 and end Nov. 21.
Here are some things to watch for:
- There may be a last-minute motion or motions before the jury selection begins. Days before the first trial, the defense filed a lengthy change-of-venue motion. Forgey denied that motion before the jury selection began.
- The prosecution and defense will discuss and dispute the definition of oral sex according to the law and other sources. We'll try to keep this as family friendly as possible.
- The defense will call a psychologist, William O'Donohue of the University of Nevada-Reno, to speak about the same issues and rebut some of the testimony psychologist Dr. Sherri Vanino of Denver gave during the first trial.
- Expect the prosecution to submit more and new detailed forensic evidence obtained from the smart phones of Cercy and the alleged victim. In the first trial,Cercy denied any assault occurred saying he went to bed about 2 a.m., woke up at 8 a.m., and he had his cell phone with him. But the prosecution presented evidence that videos and photos were taken on Cercy's phone that night.
This summer, the new evidence became known after a software system called Oxygen extracted health app data that the prosecution said indicates activity on Cercy's part. Evidence on the alleged victim's phone indicates she did not walk back to her friends' trailers as a defense attorney told the jury then.
- There may be a replay of the question whether the Cercys' dogs barked on the night of the alleged assault. The defense focused on this a lot in the first trial, saying that if the alleged victim's testimony was true about an assault, the noise would have woken the dogs that were in a room adjacent to the living room.