CASPER, Wyo. — Prosecutors on Friday revealed that felony sexual-assault charges have been filed against two men alleged to have used a popular Internet classified advertising site to carry out the rape of a woman in Natrona County.
Casper resident Ty Oliver McDowell, 26, has been charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated burglary.
McDowell, wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands and ankles shackled, made his initial appearance Friday in Natrona County Circuit Court.
“This involves a violent rape,” Assistant District Attorney Daniel Itzen said during the proceedings. “Not only with a penis but with an object.”
Allegedly, the sexual assault occurred on Dec. 11.
If convicted, McDowell faces life in prison.
Judge Steven Brown set bond at $250,000.
During a press conference Friday afternoon, District Attorney Michael Blonigen said a California man, Jebidiah James Stipe, has also been charged in connection with the alleged rape.
“All charges in this case stem from a series of activities alleged to have begun by Mr. Stipe by the use of the Internet site Craigslist,” Blonigen said.
Stipe, 27, has been charged in Natrona County Circuit Court with conspiracy to commit first-degree sexual assault.
According to Blonigen, Stipe “solicited and procured the sexual assault of an adult female” in the Casper area.
Authorities are not releasing the name of the alleged victim, nor are they releasing any details of the alleged rape at this time, Blonigen said.
Stipe was arrested Wednesday in Joshua Tree, Calif., according to an official with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Records Division. He was being held Friday at the West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino County.
Stipe is a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, based in Twentynine Palms, Calif., according to the California official.
Police arrested McDowell without incident Thursday night at his place of employment, Blonigen said.
During his court appearance Friday, McDowell told Brown that he was employed at the Wyoming Medical Center as a radiologist.
Public defender Tim Cotton, who represented McDowell on Friday, noted that McDowell has no criminal history.
He is due back in Circuit Court within two weeks for a preliminary hearing to determine if he should be bound over to Natrona County District Court for trial.
He remains in the Natrona County Detention Center.
Craigslist is a San Francisco-based Internet site that allows users to post classified advertisements online at no charge. The Web site, at www.craigslist.org, has sections devoted to jobs, housing and sales, as well as personals.
Contact William Browning at william.browning@ trib.com or 307-266-0534.