Tony Cercy Sentencing for Sexual Assault Set for Feb. 27
Convicted sex offender and former Casper businessman Tony Cercy is scheduled to be sentenced in Casper on Feb. 27, according to an order from Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey.
Former District Attorney Mike Blonigen, who retired last month after deciding not to run for re-election, will be the special prosecutor for the scheduled three-and-a-half hour hearing, according to a separate order from Forgey.
In November, Cercy was convicted in a jury trial in Hot Springs County Court of one count of third-degree sexual assault, which is punishable by up to 15 years of imprisonment.
A year ago, a jury in Natrona County District Court acquitted him of one count each of first- and second-degree sexual assault, but deadlocked on the third degree count.
Cercy has lost numerous appeals in the Wyoming Supreme Court and in Natrona County District Court, the most recent being in December.
Last month, new District Attorney Dan Itzen asked the court to appoint Blonigen as the special prosecutor for this and any future matters involving Cercy. Blonigen was the lead prosecutor in both cases, and Itzen wrote in his motion that "it is in the best interest of justice to have Mr. Blonigen complete the matter including sentencing...."
But Cercy's attorneys -- Ian Sandefer of Casper, and Pamela Mackey and Jeffrey Pagliuca of Denver -- responded to Itzen's motion, writing Blonigen is not longer employed by the State of Wyoming.
When the attorneys responded on Jan. 25, they wrote the Department of Probation and Parole was preparing a confidential pre-sentence report, with sensitive personal and financial information about Cercy.
That information is not allowed to be disclosed to a private citizen, they wrote.
Sandefer, Mackey and Pagliuca also wrote that Wyoming allows for the appointment of a special prosecutor under very limited purposes: "'When the district attorney is interested or refuses to act in a prosecution, the court may direct or permit any member of the bar to act in the district attorney's place.'"
Itzen does not claim to be "interested" in the prosecution of Cercy, nor is he not "refusing to act" in this case, they wrote. "Accordingly, there is no statutory authority to appoint a private citizen to prosecute Mr. Cercy."
They added Cercy objects to the appointment of a special prosecutor unless Itzen has a conflict of interest that would disqualify him.
Cercy also objects to Blonigen having access to his private and financial information, as well as a concern that he may disseminate information in the pre-sentence report.
Friday, Forgey granted Itzen's request to appoint Blonigen for the sentencing.
The case began June 23, 2017, when the victim told a Natrona County Sheriff's investigator she, her boyfriend, friends and acquaintances arrived at Alcova Lake on the evening of June 23.
On Saturday evening, they went to another location and about 9:45 p.m. went to a residence on Cedar Drive North owned by Cercy.
She said she went into the residence, passed out on the couch in the middle of the living room, and woke up to find Cercy performing oral sex. Nearly all of her clothing had been removed, she claimed, and Cercy was naked from the waist down, according to court records.
The alleged victim said he gave her a ride to a friend's place at the Alcova Trailer Park and threatened to kill her and himself, according to court records.