Casper Man Pleads Not Guilty to Five Counts of Rape, Four Other Alleged Crimes
A Casper man pleaded not guilty to five counts of rape and other alleged crimes during his arraignment in Natrona County District Court on Wednesday.
Besides the first-degree sexual assault counts, Jacob Paquette also pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault and battery, felonious restraint, sexual exploitation of children, and strangulation of a household member during the hearing before District Court Judge Daniel Forgey.
If convicted on all counts, he faces a sentence of 30 years to life imprisonment.
Forgey will set a trial date later. Assistant District Attorney Kevin Taheri said he estimates a trial will take three days.
Paquette, who was 20 when he was arrested earlier this year, is free on a $25,000 bond and is living in Colorado with his parents, according to court records.
According to charging documents, one alleged victim who was 17 at the time and Paquette were living together in May.
She was leaving her job when Paquette pulled up in a separate vehicle, which surprised the victim because Paquette was supposed to be working.
The alleged victim went home briefly before she attempted to leave, but Paquette sent her a text message asking her to come inside and talk. She went inside.
When she tried to leave, Paquette grabbed her and forced her onto a couch. Paquette later shoved her onto a bed in a separate room. She screamed but Paquette repeatedly covered her mouth and nose with his hands, eventually grabbing a pillow and holding it over her face.
The alleged victim managed to get to a bathroom and lock herself in. When she came out, Paquette held her down and raped her, according to the arrest affidavit.
It happened two more times. At one point, Paquette poked the alleged victim's back with a knife.
The May incident was a second case involving Paquette.
In September, Casper police began investigating a reported sexual assault, according to court records.
The victim in that case recalled being thrown before Paquette put a dresser in front of a door so she couldn't escape. Then he raped her, according to court documents.
When the second case was reported, police saw a "definite correlation" between the two incidents, Casper Police Sergeant Mitch Baker said during a previous court appearance.
The alleged victim told police that she tried to call relatives for help but Paquette took her phone from her.
Baker said he had difficulty reaching Paquette to carry out the investigation, and turned the case over to the District Attorney's Office.