Casper Man Accused of Repeated Sexual Abuse of Young Girl
A Casper resident could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of two sex crimes charged against him during his initial appearance Monday in Natrona County Circuit Court.
Hugo Mendoza-Cora, 36, is charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the third degree. Each count is punishable by up to 15 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Steven Brown set bond at $50,000 cash or surety after Assistant District Attorney Jared Holbrook's request for a $100,000 bond, "due to the nature of the charges."
Court documents say three Casper police detectives were made aware of the allegations on Friday, after a girl told her parents, who then told school officials, that a friend -- the alleged victim in this case -- was "potentially being touched in a sexual manner by [Mendoza-Cora]."
The victim reportedly told detectives that she sleeps in her room by herself, and at night, Mendoza-Cora would go into the victim's room. Charging papers say the victim could be heard crying and screaming while Mendoza-Cora was in the room.
The victim allegedly said Mendoza-Cora touched her "privates" and he was not supposed to do that. She reportedly told investigators that she sometimes wears a zipper pajama outfit so Mendoza-Cora can't touch her.
The allegations, as outlined in court documents, specifically charge that the abuse took place from Aug. 1, 2016 to Aug. 1, 2017 in count one, and from Aug. 2, 2017 to Oct. 20, 2017 in count two.
Mendoza-Cora, in his interview with detectives, denied the allegations.
An exam by a sexual assault nurse allegedly showed injury to the victim, and a search warrant was granted for DNA, biological swabs and photos.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents became involved after Mendoza-Cora's arrest, as he is in the U.S. illegally.
Clothing items of the victim and other evidence were collected from the home where the abuse is alleged to have occurred.
Judge Brown appointed a public defender for Mendoza-Cora during Monday's court hearing, and ordered that Mendoza-Cora have no contact with the alleged victim.