Natrona County Man Accused of Sexually Abusing Young Girls; Could Face 325 Years in Prison
A Evansville man could spend the rest of his days behind bars if convicted of sexually abusing a woman for years, beginning when she was seven years old, and attempting to abuse another woman when she was eight years old.
Michael Griswold, 43, was charged Monday afternoon in Natrona County Circuit Court with six counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, one count of attempted third-degree sexual assault and one count of taking indecent liberties with a minor.
He could be sentenced to 325 years in prison and $80,000 in fines if convicted on all counts.
Judge Steven Brown set Griswold's bond at $500,000 cash or surety. He also ordered Griswold to surrender his passport.
Charging papers say a 45-year-old woman went to the Natrona County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday after two victims separately told her that Griswold had sexually assaulted them, or had attempted to do so.
One of the victims, now a woman who is about 20 years old, reportedly told relatives that Griswold forced her to have sex with him multiple times, beginning when she was about seven years old and continuing until she turned 18.
The other victim, now roughly 23 years old, alleged Griswold tried to touch her inappropriately on one occasion when she was about eight years old.
In an interview with a Natrona County Sheriff's investigator, one victim claimed Griswold "forced" a number of different sex acts upon her when no one else was around. She kept those alleged acts a secret until about June 1, because Griswold allegedly threatened to hurt her if she ever told anyone.
That victim decided to come forward because she reportedly knew Griswold frequently spent time near a seven-year-old child, and she did not want Griswold to abuse that child as well.
The victim went on to say that when she was 11 or 12 years old, Griswold would pick her up and carry her into his bedroom, where he "forced me to have sex with him."
She added that when she was 13 or 14 years old, Griswold would "drag" her to his bedroom.
Between November 2009 and August 2010, Griswold allegedly abused the same victim inside a home where everyone else was asleep. During that period, the other victim was pregnant.
Investigators interviewed the woman who reported the alleged abuse. She reportedly told them there was "absolutely, no question at all" that the victim was telling the truth, because she herself previously had a long-term sexual relationship with Griswold.
The woman said the victim's description of the alleged abuse matched "word for word" what Griswold did to the woman during their sexual encounters, and there was no way the victim could know Griswold's sexual preferences unless he had performed those acts on the victim.
With regard to the allegation that Griswold attempted to inappropriately touch the other victim, the investigator reportedly determined that "the relationship qualified as incest as specifically listed in Wyoming State Statute," according to charging documents.
On Friday, Griswold agreed to an interview with the investigator. He was told of the allegations against him and reportedly denied ever having any sexual contact or sexual relationship with either alleged victim.
Griswold was arrested the same day. A preliminary hearing to determine whether the charges against him will be bound over to Natrona County District Court for trial will likely be set within the next 10 to 20 days.