She thought it happened, or maybe it didn't.

She didn't want to believe it happened.

She may have imagined it.

She drank too much.

She didn't want to attract the attention.

She was afraid what he might do to her.

She told varying stories to friends.

She didn't want to tell her parents or law enforcement.

She thought people would hate her.

She didn't want to hurt her assailant, because he has a family.

She wondered if he might hire someone to kill her.

But finally she realized that it did, in fact, happen.

The alleged victim at the heart of the sexual assault trial of Tony Cercy told Natrona County District Court on Tuesday she dealt with these conflicting, muddled, incomplete and other thoughts and emotions as she grappled with the aftermath of the night of June 24-25 when the prominent Casper businessman allegedly sexually assaulted her at his residence at Alcova Lake.

The alleged victim, now 21, was questioned by Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen and Cercy's lead attorney Pamela Mackey on the second day of the scheduled six-day trial presided over by Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey.

Cercy is charged with one count of first-degree sexual assault (rape), one count of second-degree and one count of third degree sexual assault on the 20-year-old woman. If convicted on all counts, he faces between seven and 85 years of imprisonment.

Blonigen called the alleged victim to the stand about 11:30 a.m., and again for the rest of the afternoon, followed by cross-examination by Mackey.

She testified about what started as a summer getaway with her boyfriend at Alcova on Friday, June 23, the alleged assault, and the following days leading to the report of the alleged crime.

Saturday morning, her boyfriend left for a golf tournament in Casper. They had not been getting along, and she told him not to come back to the lake.

Under questioning by Mackey, she said he did return and he argued with her about her heavy drinking that day. By late evening, he left for Casper, but she didn't remember when.

She and others were at a friend's place at the trailer park. Cercy invited the son of a longtime friend to come over to his place where he, his wife, Caryl, and a young woman were hanging out, she said.

By now very intoxicated, she and about 10 others in her age group arrived about 10 p.m. where she was outside for a while, went inside to use the restroom, and passed out on a couch.

Meanwhile, several couples arrived about 11:30 p.m. Some of the women in the group were concerned about her well-being until one of the Cercy family's four dogs licked her on the face and she turned her head. Everyone left about an hour later.

About 3:15 a.m. Sunday, she woke up wearing only her bra and saw Cercy, naked from the waist down, on top of her with his arms on her legs performing oral sex on her. "You could tell that he was unhappy that I woke up."

She slapped him, pushed him away and he stepped back saying, "'Whoa, whoa, nothing happened."

She had known Cercy from her junior high school days when she was on a volleyball team sponsored by his former company Power Service, she said. "I never thought Tony would do this to me."

She grabbed her clothes, and dressed hurriedly.

She was frantic.

Referring to a list given to her by Blonigen, she recounted at least 20 phone calls and text messages she made between 3:17 a.m. and 3:30 a.m., many of them to her boyfriend she didn't know had returned to Casper. Cercy stood by as she made the calls.

(During the testimony, Mackey raised several objections about the list. She, Blonigen and Forgey met privately at the bench a couple of times. At the end of those conferences, Blonigen resumed his questioning.)

Realizing no one was coming to get her, she asked Cercy for the keys to his car or his 4X4 Razor all terrain vehicle.

He offered to let her stay in a spare bedroom, but she refused.

She walked to the end of the driveway and considered walking, but it was totally dark, she had no shoes and she would not have known where to go anyway, she said.

Cercy then pushed her into the front passenger seat of his Razor. He wanted to take her to her parent's place, but she would have been alone.

So he “drove like a maniac” to a friend's trailer and parked several spaces away. He  told her to “get the f*** out,” and if she told anyone, he would kill her, she said. She didn't think he would do that, but figured he could hire someone to do it.

She said that she found her friends in the trailer, and had them take her to her family’s cabin where she put the clothes she wore that night in a bag.

She called more friends, including her boyfriend who returned to the lake Sunday morning.

People asked how she was doing, and she usually responded that she was okay. Some friends told her to go to the sheriff with the incident, but she said she was still processing what happened.

Her boyfriend hated Cercy. and wanted to kill him, she said. Later that day, they saw the Cercys on the lake, and he waved to her. She also noticed her legs were bruised and she reckoned it was from Cercy's alleged assault.

During her cross-examination, Mackey read several apparently conflicting accounts she gave of the incident including exactly what Cercy did to her during to her during the alleged assault.

She also cited apparent inconsistencies of how she returned to the Alcova Trailer park such as being picked up by a group of guys and walking from Cercy's residence to the trailer park.

To which the alleged victim responded, "Not correct."

Under questioning by Blonigen, the alleged victim said on Monday and Tuesday she was telling some people, including her boyfriend, about what happened without divulging all details and without reporting it.

But by Wednesday morning, her parents had heard several stories. They called her at her office but she would not answer the phone.

Her father drove to her office, she saw him approaching, began crying, met him outside, and finally knew she needed to report the incident to law enforcement, she said. "In the back of my mind, I knew was the right thing."

While she and her father were talking outside her building, her phone rang. Cercy obtained her number and called her. She put the phone on speakerphone so her father could hear.

Cercy told her, "'I want to clarify what happened the other night.'"

Her father took the phone and told Cercy to never call her again, and "'we'll handle this in another way.'"

She retrieved her belongings at the office, and her mother took her to the Wyoming Medical Center for a sex assault exam.

She finally reported the incident to the Natrona County Sheriff's Office, she said.

 

The trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.