Casper Man Gets 12-15 Years for Raping Man at Knifepoint
A man who admitted in June that he sexually assaulted another man at knifepoint was sentenced to prison Wednesday morning in Natrona County District Court.
District Judge Daniel Forgey sentenced 20-year-old Gary Daniel Clement to a prison term of 12-15 years. Clement had previously pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual assault as part of a plea agreement.
"There's use of a weapon, there's use of violence," Assistant District Attorney Dan Itzen told Forgey during Wednesday's sentencing hearing. "Your honor, this is an extremely violent act."
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Clement and the victim had not seen each other for several years when the victim entered a Casper restaurant in late January while Clement was working the night shift.
The two caught up and Clement invited the victim back to his house when his shift ended at 6 a.m. They went to Clement's residence in Evansville where they drank beer and, according to defense attorney Curtis Cheney, smoked marijuana before they decided to "practice defense tactics."
After some time, Clement told the victim that "people wanted [the victim] dead," according to the affidavit. Clement told the victim that he would kill him unless the victim performed oral sex on Clement. The victim did so.
Clement then punched the victim in the head and threatened him with a knife. At one point, with the knife nearing the victim's neck, the victim tried to block the knife, resulting in a puncture wound to the victim's hand.
Clement knocked the victim unconscious, pulled down his pants, bent him over the bed and raped him. The victim told investigators that he tried to fight off Clement, but Clement overpowered him and still had the knife in his possession.
Cheney on Wednesday recommended that Forgey include in his sentencing order a recommendation for Clement to participate in the Boot Camp program offered by the Department of Corrections. Offenders who qualify for and complete that program become eligible for a sentence reduction.
"I don't believe the affidavit of probable cause tells the whole story," Cheney told Forgey. He said that Clement retrieved the knife from his kitchen as part of the role-playing. The victim then became scared, Cheney said, and offered to give Clement money or perform sexual acts on Clement if Clement would stop.
"Mr. Clement should have realized that it had gone too far," Cheney said. "His judgment was severely impaired" due to Clement having been under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, Cheney added.
Cheney also said that Clement had little criminal history before this incident, with none of his previous charges involving violence.
Itzen, in recommending that Clement receive a prison sentence of 15-20 years, pointed to the impact Clement's crime has had on the victim.
"He talks about being scared to leave his own house," Itzen told Forgey. "The impact on the victim, judge, cannot be overstated."
"To some degree, it appears to have been thought out by the defendant," Itzen said of the sexual assault. Cheney disagreed with that characterization.
"Your honor, when you engage in this conduct on any individual, it's horrific. But when you do it on someone who considers you a friend, and you do it at knifepoint, that deserves a substantial sentence, and that's what the state is asking for," Itzen continued.
Clement, in a brief statement to the court, apologized for the crime.
"What I did was wrong, and I know that, and I know that I need help," he told Forgey, asking for the boot camp recommendation and a chance to avoid a longer prison sentence.
Clement said his son was born in May.
"He is and always will be my motivation to better myself," Clement said. "I promise nothing like this will ever happen again."
Clement was visibly shaken when Forgey announced the 12-15 year sentence with no boot camp recommendation. He appeared to wipe tears before briefly conferring with Cheney and being led away by a deputy.