from the District Court of Natrona County The Honorable W.
Thomas Sullins, Judge
Representing Appellant: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender;
Kirk A. Morgan, Chief Appellate Counsel; Robin S. Cooper,
Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Ms. Cooper.
Representing Appellee: Bridget L. Hill, Wyoming Attorney
General; Jenny L. Craig, Deputy Attorney General; Christyne
M. Martens, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Timothy P.
Zintak, Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Mr. Zintak.
DAVIS, C.J., and FOX, KAUTZ, BOOMGAARDEN, and GRAY, JJ.
A jury convicted Raymond Martin Brown of sexual assault in
the third degree and intentional abuse of a vulnerable adult.
The district court sentenced him to a total of four to twelve
years in prison. On appeal, Mr. Brown argues the district
court committed plain error by admitting hearsay evidence,
and that the evidence was insufficient to support the jury
verdict. We affirm.
Mr. Brown raises two issues, rephrased as:
I. Whether the district court committed plain error when it
admitted hearsay testimony from several witnesses and a video
recording of SA's interview with the Children's
II. Whether the evidence was sufficient for the jury to
convict Mr. Brown of sexual assault in the third degree and
intentional abuse of a vulnerable adult.
In early July 2017, the Kelly Walsh High School Class of 2007
gathered in Casper to celebrate its ten-year reunion with
various activities, including a party at the Keg & Cork,
a local bar. SA went to the Keg & Cork with her cousin,
Lauren Lein, and her cousin's husband, Nicholas Lein.
Mr. Brown, a fellow member of the Class of 2007, also went to
the Keg & Cork that night. At the bar, Mr. Brown met SA
for the first time, began kissing her, and took her hand to
lead her to his truck. In the truck, Mr. Brown continued
kissing SA, and then began touching her breasts and vaginal
area. He then grabbed SA's hand, and placed it on his
genitals. SA twice told Mr. Brown to stop. After SA told Mr.
Brown to stop the second time, Mr. Brown stated he had to use
the restroom and stepped out of the truck to do so.
As soon as Mr. Brown left the truck, SA returned to the bar
and told her cousin someone had just done "sex
stuff" with her. After hearing this, Mrs. Lein got her
husband's attention, and told him what SA had just told
her. SA then showed them the truck and described the clothes
of the individual who took her to the truck. SA then
identified that individual as Mr. Brown. Mrs. Lein confronted
Mr. Brown, ordered him to leave the bar, hit him, and then
called 9-1-1. Police officers arrived and Officers Craig
Burns and Alyssa Baedke spoke with SA about what had
happened. The following Monday, Rosemary Bartle, a forensic
interviewer and a licensed professional counselor with the
Children's Advocacy Project (CAP), interviewed SA.
On November 30, the State charged Mr. Brown with two
felonies: sexual assault in the third degree, in violation of
Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-304(a)(iii),  and abuse of a
vulnerable adult, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. §
6-2-507(a). Over the course of a four-day trial, the
State presented evidence that falls into two general
categories: evidence regarding SA's disability, and
evidence concerning the sexual contact.
With respect to the second alternative circumstance of sexual
assault in the third degree and to intentional abuse of a
vulnerable adult, the jury had to find SA had a disability.
See Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 6-2-304(a)(iii),
6-2-302(a)(iv) (LexisNexis 2019) (sexual assault in the third
degree requires a showing that the defendant knew or
reasonably should have known that the victim "through a
mental illness, mental deficiency or developmental
disability is incapable of appraising the nature of the
victim's conduct.") (emphasis added); see
also Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 6-2-507,
35-20-102(a)(xviii) (LexisNexis 2019) (defining a
"vulnerable adult" as someone "eighteen (18)
years of age or older who is unable to manage and take care
of [herself or her] money, assets or property without
assistance as a result of . . . mental
disability[.]") (emphasis added). To support this
finding, the State presented evidence from Dr. Kenneth Bell
that SA, a thirty-one-year-old woman with Down syndrome,
cannot live and spend money on her own without "the
assistance of a guardian and a payee." To compensate for
this inability, SA's mother holds both legal
conservatorship and guardianship over SA and her money.
SA's mother testified that although SA continuously makes
noteworthy achievements-such as holding a job, having a
"fiancé" who is a young man with Down
syndrome, and going out to bars with her friends-those
accomplishments are possible only if facilitated by a family
member. SA's IQ-to-age equivalency placed her reasoning
at the level of an individual seven years and eight months
In addition to SA's disability, the jury had to find that
Mr. Brown engaged in sexual contact with SA. See
Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 6-2-304(a)(iii), 6-2-302(a)(i)
(sexual assault in the third degree occurs when an actor
"subjects a victim to sexual contact
under" either circumstance offered by the State)
(emphasis added); see also Wyo. Stat. Ann.
§§ 6-2-507(a), 35-20-102(a)(ii)(E), (xxii)
(defining "abuse" in the abuse of a vulnerable
adult statute to include "sexual abuse," and
defining "sexual abuse" to include "sexual
contact") (emphasis added). To support the sexual
contact finding, the State called SA to testify about what
happened at the bar and in Mr. Brown's truck.
Additionally, the State called SA's cousin, SA's
cousin's husband, Officers Burns and Baedke, and Ms.
Bartle to testify, among other things, about SA's
statements to them about what happened the night of the
assault. The State also played for the jury the video
recording of Ms. Bartle's CAP interview with SA. Finally,
the State called a forensic scientist from the biological and
DNA unit of the Wyoming State Crime Lab to testify about DNA
that officers recovered from the truck, SA, and Mr. Brown.
At trial, Mr. Brown primarily argued that he was either not
the person who assaulted SA, or, if he was, he was too
intoxicated to form the requisite intent. With respect to his
intoxication, the State presented evidence that Mr. Brown had
a retrograde blood alcohol level anywhere between 0.14 and
0.23 at the time of the assault (depending on Mr. Brown's
regular level of alcohol intake). However, two witnesses
testified that, despite his intoxication, Mr. Brown appeared
coherent during that time.
The jury convicted him of sexual assault in the third degree,
under both circumstances referenced above, and intentional
abuse of a vulnerable adult. The district court sentenced Mr.
Brown to concurrent sentences of four to twelve years for
sexual assault in the third degree and four to eight years
for intentional abuse of a vulnerable adult. This timely
Additional facts are set forth below as necessary.
The district court did not plainly err when it admitted
alleged hearsay testimony and a video recording of SA's