Casper Man Pleads Not Guilty To Assault, Strangulation, Kidnapping
A Casper man pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, strangulation and assault charges during his arraignment Thursday .
A trial date will be scheduled later for Roger Johnson, 50, Natrona County District Court Judge Catherine Wilking said.
Johnson is charged with aggravated assault, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment; strangulation of a household member, punishable by up to five years imprisonment; kidnapping, punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment; and third-degree sexual assault, punishable by between five years to 50 years imprisonment.
After the plea, his public defender Kurt Infanger asked Wilking to reduce Johnson's $100,000 bond to $20,000.
Johnson and his victim, who was in the courtroom, also wanted the no contact order lifted between the two.
Infanger said Johnson has no ability to post any amount of bond, and he remains in custody on a probation hold.
But Assistant District Attorney Brett Johnson said the allegations are scary and violent, and asked Wilking to deny the lower bond request.
The no contact order, even if it would mean Johnson just talking to the victim in the jail, should remain in place too, Johnson said. People have ways to violate that order, he said.
Wilking lowered Johnson's bond to $50,000, adding the no contact order would remain.
The case began Oct. 1 when police responded to a call from the Wyoming Medical Center, according to court documents and testimony at Johnson's preliminary hearing on Oct. 11.
The night before, the victim went to bingo with her grandmother. Johnson followed her to her grandmother’s residence and afterwards he forced her into his car. They began driving to Wheatland and Johnson alternated screaming and crying, saying she was cheating on him and he loved her. He also threatened her with a large flashlight and a folding knife.
Johnson and the victim returned to their apartment in Casper, where he grabbed a knife and held it to her throat. He choked her and grabbed her genitals. Johnson then took her to her grandmother’s house.
Later Saturday, she and some friends went to the apartment to pick up personal items, but many of them had been damaged. She went to the hospital and police were called.
That night, police found Johnson in a car near a motel.