Bar Nunn Man Gets 10- To 20-Year Prison Term For Sexual Abuse Of A Minor
A Bar Nunn man will serve 10 to 20 years at the Wyoming State Penitentiary for the sexual abuse of a minor, a judge ordered today.
Samson Dean Emerson heard the sentence from Natrona County District Court Judge Catherine Wilking during a five-minute hearing.
Emerson, who was 34 when arrested, entered an Alford plea to that single charge in June as part of a plea agreement.
In exchange for the plea, the state agreed to dismiss 13 other charges according to a second amended criminal information document.
Emerson was initially charged with six counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, six counts of incest and two counts of third-degree sexual assault.
By entering the Alford plea, Emerson asserted his innocence and did not admit to the crime, but it means he believed the state has evidence which would likely persuade a judge or jury to find him guilty of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Wilking accepted the terms of the plea agreement. She also accepted two letters from victims from Assistant District Attorney Mike Schafer. Neither Schafer nor Wilking disclosed the statements in those letters.
When asked if he had anything to say, Emerson simply responded, "No, ma'am."
Charging documents say Emerson moved in with the father of the victim in 2014.
In September 2016, a Natrona County Sheriff's deputy responded to a home in Bar Nunn and was told by the victim -- who was 12 or 13 years old at the time -- that Emerson started "touching" her shortly after he moved in.
In a forensic interview at the Children's Advocacy Project in Casper, the girl said Emerson had touched her 10-15 times, usually when her parents were gone.
The first time it happened, Emerson asked her to watch a movie with him, the victim said. The two sat on the edge of Emerson's bed before he put a blanket over the victim and started to touch her.
She ran out of the bedroom, but the "touching" happened more frequently.
Emerson told the victim he would buy her anything she wanted if she didn't tell anyone about what he was doing.
The last time it happened, was the weekend of Aug. 20, 2016, the victim told the interviewer. Emerson was in his bedroom playing video games, but when her father left the house, Emerson asked her if she wanted to watch television with him.
The victim said she would, as long as Emerson didn't touch her.
"That's not what happened," the victim said. "He touched me." It was this incident to which Emerson entered the Alford plea in court Thursday.
Later in the investigation, a Natrona County Sheriff's investigator spoke with Emerson's ex-wife. She reportedly said Emerson raped her after knocking her unconscious during a fight on Sept. 17, 2010.
She told the investigator that after the assault, she was interviewed by two male Casper police officers, but was too uncomfortable to tell them about the sexual assault.
In 2002, Emerson was previously convicted of one count of indecent liberties with a minor. He received a suspended prison sentence of two-and-a-half to four years. Instead of serving that sentence, Emerson was ordered to complete three and a half years of supervised probation and perform 60 hours of community service.