Guilty Plea Not Accepted In Sexual Abuse of a Minor Case, Charges Moving To Trial
An Albany County judge refused to accept a Laramie man’s guilty plea for charges alleging that he had a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl.
Corwin Patrick Bernard, 22, appeared for his arraignment today in Albany County District Court before Judge Jeffrey Donnell. Bernard was originally charged with three counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Second Degree. Each of the three counts are felonies punishable of up to 20 years imprisonment.
As part of a plea agreement, Bernard’s charges were amended to one count of Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Third Degree, also a felony. That charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both.
Prosecutors told Judge Donnell that, had the matter gone to trial, they would have provided evidence that Bernard had a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl whom he met via Facebook and Snapchat.
Bernard admitted that he met the girl through social media, but said he was unaware that the girl was only 13 years of age. He told Judge Donnell that he was under the impression that the girl was 17-years-old when the sexual contact had occurred.
Because Bernard stated that he was not aware of the girl’s age at the time of the act, Judge Donnell did not accept his guilty plea. The original charges, which carry a total maximum penalty of 60 years imprisonment, are scheduled to move forward to trial.
A trial date has not yet been set.
Bernard is currently being held at the Albany County Detention Center on the $25,000 cash bond.