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Sex assault arrests would be public under new law

Jan 17, 2013 - The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- A Wyoming state lawmaker wants to change a provision of state law that keeps the identities of people charged with sexual assault secret until they're bound over to district court.

Rep. Sam Krone's bill, which the House received for introduction Wednesday, would allow the release of defendant's names as soon as they are charged with sexual assault, the same as any other felony.

Under Wyoming law, a defendant must go through a preliminary hearing in circuit court. A judge must determine that there is sufficient evidence to send the case to district court before the defendant's name can be released to the public.

"Right now in Wyoming, there's only one crime where the defendant has confidentiality, and that's the crime of sexual assault," Krone, a Cody Republican and assistant Park County prosecutor, said Wednesday. "And that's sexual assault in terms of adult-on-adult sexual assault, and adult-on-a-minor sexual assault."

As it stands, Krone said, a person may be in custody while employers, neighbors and school districts aren't aware of sexual assault charges against that person.

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