Day 5–Cercy Trial: UPDATE – Did the Dogs Bark?
UPDATE: 3:30 - The Tony Cercy trial reconvened after lunch on Friday, and the defense called to the stand, Mary Cablk, a scientific consultant.
Cercy is charged with one count of first-degree sexual assault (rape), one count of second-degree sexual assault (intrusion), and one count of sexual contact "without inflicting sexual intrusion and without causing serious bodily injury."
If convicted on all counts, Cercy faces between seven and 85 years of imprisonment.
Cablk conducted an experiment for the defense team to determine if the assault described by the alleged victim would have awakened the Cercy’s 4 dogs in the next room. Also in that room were Tony Cercy’s wife Caryl and her friend, Cablk said under questioning by Cercy's lead attorney Pamela Mackey.
Cablk conducted the experiment in the Cercy home at Alcova Lake. She used the court documents and the short cell phone video as her guides. She said she placed a sound monitor on a table in the living room next to the couch where the assault is alleged to have happened. Another monitor was on the floor level in the bedroom, and a third on the nightstand in the bedroom.
Two actors, partially clothed, simulated the alleged event. The woman wakes up and yells at Cercy and he later picks her up in the Razor 4X4. According to Cablk, it was all as the alleged victim described, and in her words, “These dogs were going nuts.” And she testified the dogs started barking just as the alleged victim realized she was being assaulted.
The jury heard the audio, but did not see the visual, part of the video.
That's because in January Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey rejected the defense request to allow the video into evidence during the trial.
Whatever evidence the video may offer to a jury is far outweighed by the prejudice it would cause. Forgey said. "The video depiction is not complete, fair or an accurate presentation."
The audio portion had it problems, too, Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen said.
Blonigen attacked Cablk's testimony -- and the testimonies of the videographer and a dog expert from Sheridan College -- reminding her that both Caryl Cercy and her friend were intoxicated. He also asked if the dogs would react differently to a stranger than to Cercy. And finally, he asked why the actors were clothed and not naked as described by the alleged victim.
She answered that shouldn’t make a difference in what the dogs heard.
Blonigen also asked Cablk if the script and experiment was based on law enforcement interviews of the alleged victim, why was there nothing about her making phone calls right after she got dressed.
Likewise, the video did not show Cercy on top of her legs when she awoke.
Cablk said that was irrelevant, too.
The fifth day of the Tony Cercy sexual assault trial began where day four left off.
Wyoming Crime Lab analyst Jennifer Brammier continued her testimony explaining how DNA samples are taken and then processed.
She said under cross examination by defense attorney Pamela Mackey that a sample of the suspect DNA, in this case Tony Cercy’s, must be obtained. Then, when comparing with anything from a suspected crime scene, they have three options.
The first option is that he cannot be excluded. The second is inconclusive. And the third is excluded. Despite what crime television programs may imply, they never say the word “match.”
In terms of this case, they examined the alleged victim’s underwear, first with what is essentially a black light. Then they took five samples roughly five millimeters square. The result was, nothing was found, and Tony Cercy was excluded.
So, Brammier said there are two only options. Either it was washed away, or was never there in the first place. She testified that from her point of view, it’s all about the results and not how they got there.
There was some back and forth about the possibility of fluids to be transferred to fabric or onto the couch on which the alleged victim slept.
Brammier was reminded after her time in the witness box, that she was still under subpoena and could be recalled to testify.
A young man, Ryun Olson, was then called to the stand.
Olson was the first person the alleged victim ran into after leaving the Cercy home and being driven to another house in Alcova. He testified she told him she walked there, in contrast to her earlier contention on the stand that Cercy drove her there.
He testified that he asked her why she was upset, and said she replied, “Well, you would be, too if Tony Cercy exposed himself to you.”
He then said the alleged victim went to another room to talk to another couple, and he says he over heard her say, essentially in blunt terms, “Tony Cercy (sexually entered me).”
At this point, District Attorney Mike Blonigan virtually erupted saying, “You never told the Sheriff’s Department about this, did you?”
After some back and forth, the witness admitted that he “…owes Tony a lot. He’s done a lot for me.”
The trial continues this afternoon.