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Thompson v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

July 14, 2014

TROY EDWARD THOMPSON, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff)

Appeal from the District Court of Sweetwater County. The Honorable Nena James, Judge.

For Appellant: Michael Stulken, Green River, WY.

For Appellee: Peter K. Michael; Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; and Jenny L. Craig, Senior Assistant Attorney General.

Before BURKE, C.J., and HILL, KITE[*], DAVIS, and FOX, JJ.

OPINION

Page 805

HILL, Justice.

[¶1] After an investigation during which police learned that teacher Troy Thompson allegedly had sexual relations with three students at Rock Springs High School, Thompson was charged with a total of fifteen counts -- seven counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, and six counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the third degree. He eventually pleaded guilty to three counts, and the State agreed to dismiss the remaining charges and cap its sentencing recommendation. After a dramatic sentencing hearing where several students, including two of the victims, testified on Thompson's behalf, Thompson was sentenced. On the first count the court sentenced Thompson to not less than 15 years and not more than 25 years. The court imposed two terms of not less than five and not more than eight-year sentences on the remaining two counts with all three sentences to be served concurrent to each other. This appeal followed.

ISSUES

[¶2] Thompson presents two issues on appeal:

The district court abused its discretion by failing to give consideration to all circumstances presented in [Thompson's] sentencing proceedings.
[Thompson's] procedural due process rights were violated when the district court continued the August 20, 2013 proceedings.

FACTS

[¶3] Troy Thompson was a band teacher at Rock Springs High School [RSHS] and then at Western Wyoming Community College. In 2012 Rock Springs police learned that Thompson, who was in his late 20's, had sex with at least one of his students at RSHS. An investigation ensued and uncovered that Thompson had engaged in sexual conduct with three of his students. Specifically, during 2008-2009 Thompson engaged in repeated acts of oral sex and vaginal sex with M.S. who was a high school student aged 14 and then 15 at the time of the offense. Then, in late 2009 or early 2010 Thompson also engaged in sexual conduct, though no intercourse, with A.C., another RSHS student who was then 16 years old. At the end of the school year in 2010 Thompson was fired from his position as a high school band teacher because he was unable to follow school protocol regarding student relationships. That same summer Thompson began communicating with C.L., one of his previous students at RSHS. ...


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