The former pastor of a Casper church will serve three years supervised probation as part of a plea to one count of a child sex crime, according to the sentence handed down in Natrona County District Court on Friday.

Robert Lee Gilmore Sr. heard the sentence from District Court Judge Catherine Wilking.

On May 3, Gilmore agreed to plead no contest to one count of indecent liberties in exchange for the prosecution dismissing the two other counts of indecent liberties and three counts of second-degree sexual assault.

In exchange, the prosecution agreed to a suspended prison sentence of four to six years, and instead require Gilmore to serve three years of supervised probation.

Besides probation, Wilking said Gilmore must register as a sex offender, obey all laws, undergo any evaluations required by his probation officer, and not have any unsupervised contact with minors. Gilmore also has the right to appeal his sentence, she said.

The case started in August 2020 when Gilmore originally was charged with six counts of second-degree sexual assault -- each count punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment if convicted -- and eight counts of indecent liberties, each count punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment if convicted.

As a pastor, he allegedly committed sex acts with young girls as far back as the early 1980s, according to court records.

Gilmore allegedly told victim, whose initials are A.R., in 2003 when she was five that "God told him to continue with this 'process' in order for her to receive the Holy Ghost," according to court documents.

The first story about this case appears here.

Over time, the Natrona County District Attorney's Office reduced the number of charges for reasons including a witness recanting his previous allegations and a witness who refused to testify before a trial in March.

In that trial, the jury declared it could not reach a verdict on the three counts of second-degree sexual assault and three counts of indecent liberties with a minor.

A.R. was willing to go to trial again, Assistant District Attorney Kevin Taheri told the court on Friday.

However, another trial would have required the young woman to testify to the details of her molestation, and it could have resulted in the same decision, Taheri said.

So Gilmore, his attorney Rob Oldham and Taheri reached the plea agreement.

During the hearing, A.R. told the court via videoconference that she thanked those who supported her when she encountered problems at home and how Gilmore's church, New Life Tabernacle, became her second home. (Gilmore went by the title "bishop," but there has been no indication that he or his church were affiliated with any Christian denomination.)

But Gilmore abused his authority, molested her, and she told how she suffered and was able to overcome, she said.

"Today I speak of confidence," A.R. said. "Today I speak of victory."

Yet despite his no contest plea, Gilmore in his response vehemently insisted on his innocence.

"I don't understand how this young lady could lie and create an outlandish stream of stories about me," he said.

The places where she told authorities where she was molested-- a room by his office, a large closet in his house, the cooler in his former restaurant Roberto's -- don't exist, Gilmore said.

"My life has been completely destroyed by these accusations," he said, adding that sex offenders in prison are treated worse than mass murderers.

Gilmore took a lie detector test, which results are inadmissible in court, denied all the accusations, and its administrator said he was telling the truth.

"I don't know how anyone can make these accusations and live with themselves," he said.

Guy in the Chair: A Look Inside the Casper-Natrona County Public Safety Communications Center

For the Casper Police Department and every other first responder agency, there is the Casper-Natrona County Public Safety Communications Center. They are this town's 'Guy in the Chair,' taking calls, directing traffic and, quite literally, saving lives.


More From K2 Radio