Wyoming Supreme Court Upholds Triplett Sex Crimes Conviction
The Wyoming Supreme Court on Friday unanimously upheld the conviction of a Casper man who was convicted last year of sex crimes dating to the mid-1970s.
Desmond Triplett was found guilty by a jury in Natrona County District Court in March 2016 of one count of immodest, immoral or indecent acts with a minor, and three counts of second degree sexual abuse of a minor.
In April 2016, Triplett asked Judge Catherine Wilking for a new trial. His attorneys argued that during the trial, the prosecution asked one of Triplett's family members if there had been other accusations of Triplett inappropriately touching other people, to which the question was answered with a yes.
That, his attorneys said, was a prejudical attack on Triplett's character, leaving the jury to speculate on whether he might have committed the same act other times. His attorneys also claimed the prosecution committed misconduct leaving the impression that Triplett was hiding information from the jury.
Wilking denied the motion for a new trial.
In November 2016, she sentenced him to a 26- to 30-year prison sentence.
In December, Triplett appealed to the Wyoming Supreme Court on two grounds.
First, he claimed the indecent liberties charge was duplicitous in that it alleged a single charge based on a course of conduct occurring during a 28-month period. The prosecution should have identified a single act and date as a basis for its charge, according to court records.
Triplett also claimed the prosecution violated a pretrial order requiring it to tell the court about asking about a specific area of facts.
But the Supreme Court ruled that the Natrona County District Court did not make a mistake when it allowed a prosecutor to ask that single question. The act of asking that question may have come close to violating a pretrial order, but it did not prejudice the victim.