Wyoming Attorney General Opposes Tony Cercy’s Demand for Release from Jail
Sex offender Tony Cercy does not have the right to be released on bond pending his appeal before the Wyoming Supreme Court, according to the state's Attorney General's Office.
The high court also should reject his request because he didn't present any compelling reasons to do so, Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Fischer wrote on Friday.
Cercy, who was convicted of third-degree sexual assault in November, filed a petition for extraordinary review with the Wyoming Supreme Court on March 7 to determine whether the district court violated the double jeopardy clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits trying someone twice for the same crime.
Likewise, Cercy asserted he cannot be jailed unless and until the supreme court upholds his second prosecution against a double jeopardy challenge, according to his attorneys Michael Bennett of Cheyenne, Tim Newcomb of Laramie and Sean Connelly of Denver.
In July 2017, Cercy was charged with one count each of first-, second- and third-degree sexual assault of a then-20-year-old woman at his former house at Alcova Lake in June 2017.
In February 2018, a jury in Natrona County District Court acquitted him of the first- and second-degree counts, but deadlocked on the third-degree count. Judge Daniel Forgey declared a mistrial.
He was retried on the third-degree count in Hot Springs County after Forgey changed the venue, and a jury found him guilty on Nov. 21.
On Feb. 27, Forgey sentenced Cercy to a six- to eight-year prison term.
Cercy filed two previous unsuccessful appeals to the supreme court before the trial.
In the current appeal, he said the district court denied his release on bond saying the district court ignored double jeopardy considerations, ignored the presentence investigation that said he had strong community ties and presented a low risk of violence or recidivism, and that he could be safely released.
But the Attorney General's Office responded that Cercy's appeal mixes two legal propositions that result in a fallacy.
Because of the double jeopardy claim, Cercy may have some procedural protections that others do not, but Fischer wrote they're irrelevant at this point.
Second, Wyoming law since the mid-1980s no longer guarantees the right to be released on bond, he wrote.
The Wyoming Rules of Criminal Procedure governs the right to bail pending appeal, but with certain restrictions, Fischer wrote.
"In sum, although Wyoming law allows a district court to release a defendant pending appeal it does not guarantee a right to release on bail pending appeal. This [Supreme] Court should deny Cercy's petition because he presents 'no substantial bases for difference of opinion' on this issue.'"