A Casper man was bound over to district court for trial on seven counts of sexual abuse of minors since the mid-1970s, Natrona County Circuit Court Michael Patchen ruled Tuesday.
Some of those new counts happened after other alleged victims came forward, Casper Police Detective Gary Kassay told Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Hambrick during Triplett's preliminary hearing.
A preliminary hearing is held for prosecutors to present evidence showing probable cause that a crime was committed and the accused committed it. If a judge agrees, the case is bound over for trial.
If convicted on all or some of the charges, Triplett could face decades behind bars.
After Patchen made his ruling, Public Defender Rob Oldham asked him to reduce to $10,000 the $50,000 bond set at Triplett's initial appearance on Nov. 26.
Triplett has had five heart attacks in recent years, Oldham said, adding that his client's health has appeared to deteriorate since his arrest.
If Triplett's bond cannot be reduced or if he cannot bond out, Oldham asked Patchen to authorize furloughs for him to see doctors.
Three of Triplett's children were in the courtroom, and Patchen asked what they thought.
One daughter said she was taking care of him. She has four boys and one girl at home, and said her father poses no problem.
Another daughter said she has a a teenage son and a younger daughter.
Likewise, his son said he has a teenage daughter.
All three told Patchen their father needs to see his doctors. They also denied the allegations against him.
Patchen said he would be willing to sign a furlough, but that will only be good for a couple of days when Triplett goes to district court.
He also agreed to lower the bond to $25,000 and repeated that Triplett was to have no contact with any of the alleged victims.
Only one of those alleged victims is a minor now, Kassay said during questioning by Hambrick and Oldham.
That victim told police at an interview at the Children's Advocacy Project that she wanted to learn about religion, starting from Wicca. Triplett knew the family and interested the girl by buying her books about Wicca, then lingerie. He took nude photos and then began having sexual relations with her.
The girl came forward only recently because she realized what was happening was wrong, Kassay said. The girl kept silent for years because she was afraid Triplett would stop financially assisting her mother, who was an addict, as well as her brothers and sisters, he said.
The girl's grandmother was among the more recent alleged victims including two childhood friends, Kassay said. Triplett allegedly molested them when they were 13, and the incidents occurred in his van at places on Poison Spider Road, Hat Six Road, a ball field, he said.
The grandmother had not come forward before because she warned the girl's parents about Triplett, but they didn't believe her. Kassay said. The grandmother figured nobody else would believe her, either, he said.
Another alleged victim contacted police after learning of Triplett's arrest last month.
That woman, now 54, was 14 when the abuse started. She got pregnant at 15 and Triplett told her to go to Boulder, Colo., to get an abortion, Kassay said. They got married in Converse County in December 1976. She was 16 at the time, but Triplett altered her birth certificate to change her age to 19, Kassay said.
Another recent alleged victim, a relative, told Kassay her parents allowed Triplett and seven other men to have sex with her on her seventh birthday in 1977 as part of a ritual.
An incredulous Oldham asked Kassay why her parents would do this or why that girl's psychiatrist would not contact police. He responded they believed the ritual would enable them to become wealthy. However, the parents are dead and Kassay said he is waiting for reports from the girl's psychiatrist.
Kassay added he's heard of other bizarre incidents during his career as a sex crimes investigator.
He told Hambrick that minors often don't talk about their abuse, and specifics such as dates and places, until years later because they repress the memories, he said. "It happens all the time."