Trial Begins For Casper Man Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Girl
The trial began Monday of a Casper man charged with a single count of first-degree sexual assault of a teenage girl.
If convicted, Levi Zitterkopf faces up to 50 years of imprisonment.
The jury was empaneled Monday morning and the attorneys for the prosecution and defense made their opening statements Monday afternoon.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin Taheri outlined the investigation and the results of the medical exam of the victim when the case began in August 2016, recounting what was reported in court documents.
Taheri discussed what the alleged victim told investigators about how she and her family moved into a home the previous week and she met Zitterkopf, who was already living there, according to court documents.
Zitterkopf allegedly tried to kiss the victim numerous times on the lips and neck. Each time, the victim would reportedly push him away and tell him she had a boyfriend.
The victim said Zitterkopf continued his attempts and at one time held her and gave her a hickey without her consent. She was afraid to say anything to her parents or law enforcement.
The victim said her father knew Zitterkopf because he and his father were on The History Channel show "Ax Men."
The victim also described an incident where Zitterkopf pinned her to a couch and took her pants off.
Results of a sex assault kit conducted on the victim at Wyoming Medical Center, were consistent with the victim's statement about Zitterkopf using force to pin her to the couch, and forcefully assault her.
However, defense attorney Patrick Lewallen told the jurors they should consider the circumstances that led to charging Zitterkopf.
For example, the alleged victim's mother was the one who insisted the mark she saw was a hickey, even though the alleged victim initially denied it, Lewallen said. The girl had similar marks elsewhere on her body, and there was no mention of any assault until the girl's mother pushed the matter, he added.
The girl also had the same gynecological issues before and after her exam at the Wyoming Medical Center that resembled alleged injuries incurred during the alleged assault, he said.
Law enforcement authorities, Lewallen added, have tried to prosecute Zitterkopf for alleged offenses before, but have been unsuccessful.
"Lies are abundant in this case," he said.
Last week, Judge Wilking granted a motion by Zitterkopf's attorneys to not allow prosecutors to use statements he made to a Casper Police detective because he did not knowingly and intelligently waive his constitutional rights before being interviewed.