A Casper foster parent who was arrested at the end of 2023 for allegedly sexually abusing minors appeared in Natrona County District Court for a preliminary hearing this morning at 8:15 a.m.

The entire courtroom was full to see what the judge would decide. Several people waited in the hallway and were eventually directed to a neighboring courtroom to watch the hearing by video.

Steven Marler appeared in person, out on bond, with his attorney.

Assistant District attorney Brandon Rosty is prosecuting the case on behalf of the State of Wyoming.

Marler is being represented by attorney John Hummel.

The defendant is being charged with 20 counts including two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree. Combined, the charges could put him behind bars for life.

After about one hour, the attorneys gave their arguments.

Hummel focused on the second count of sexual abuse of a minor, arguing against a first degree charge hanging on the victim's statement that Marler "almost" put his penis in her vagina.

Rosty argued that between four victims with numerous alleged incidents of sexual abuse, all corroborating with one another, sexual offenses were probably committed and that the case be bound over to Natrona County District Court.

Judge Collier agreed that probable cause was established on all 20 counts.

Marler will next appear for an arraignment where he will make a plea.

READ ALSO: Casper Woman Speaks Out Against Foster Parents

Children's Advocacy Project Pinwheels for Abused Children

In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention. Why? Because by its very nature, the pinwheel connotes playfulness, joy, and childhood. It has come to serve as a physical reminder of the great childhoods we want for all children.

Gallery Credit: Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media

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