Moorcroft Man Charged With Third Degree Sexual Assault Of A Minor
A Moorcroft man was arrested on one count of third degree sexual assault of a minor last weekend.
Chandler Lawrence, 21, heard the charge against him read by Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Michael Huber during his initial appearance on Monday.
Huber set his bond at $10,000 cash or surety and ordered him to have no contact with the alleged victim. Because the charge is a felony, Lawrence will have a preliminary hearing within a few weeks to determine whether his case should be bound over to state district court for trial.
The case began about 4:30 a.m. Saturday when police received a report from an officer patrolling the parking lot of the Casper Events Center who said he found a Chandler with an underage female in a pickup, according to an affidavit filed with circuit court.
When the officer at the scene asked the two what was happening, the girl told him that Chandler was his uncle and they were talking about problems at home. Chandler had his belt undone, and the girl had her clothes on.
After being read his Miranda rights, Chandler told police he started a profile on an online dating site. The two only communicated through the web site, and never talked on the phone or texted, according to the affidavit.
Chandler drove from Mooorcroft to Casper, picked up the girl at her house at midnight, drove around Casper and eventually to the events center. They started kissing and petting, but never under each others' clothes.
The girl told police she started her profile on the dating site this summer, and had it because she wanted to talk to someone. Her father had taken away her phone over the summer, and a friend loaned her a laptop so she could communicate with others, according to the affidavit.
A detective advised the alleged victim of the dangers of meeting a total stranger online, getting into his vehicle, and trusting he won't hurt her, according to the affidavit.