UW Student Sues Albany County Sheriff’s Office
A University of Wyoming student is suing the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, stating that two deputies pressured her to recant a sexual assault allegation against a fellow student.
The federal lawsuit alleges that the two deputies, Christian Handley and Aaron Gallegos, had coerced a recantation of the allegation from the accuser, who regularly interacted with the suspect.
They are alleged of telling the plaintiff what her feelings were and asserted that the guy she was accusing was a “good guy,” with the deputies saying in the transcripts "You don't want to ruin some guy's life. I mean, you know what I'm saying? Like he was saying, you don't want to ruin this guy's life, do you?"
It also alleges that the department violated federal equal protection laws because the two men had allegedly described the woman as a lesbian in their interview with her, according to the transcript, and were motived to gain a recantation because of it.
The suit further alleges the deputies extracted a coerced confession and that the department had failed to train its deputies.
Attorneys for both the state and the sheriff’s department asked a federal judge to throw out the lawsuit in separate motions.
The judge has yet to rule on the motions.
The deputies say the woman's story was blown out of proportions, while the woman states that, though she kissed the suspect and had consensual sex with him original, the next morning when they had intercourse again, it was not consensual and the suspect held her arms down.
At this time, as they are allegations, the defendants are innocent unless and until proven guilty.