Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent will re-prosecute Travis Bogard, whose first-degree sexual assault conviction was overturned by the Wyoming Supreme Court in September.
If the case goes to trial, it will be the third trial for Bogard, who sentenced to 5-10 years imprisonment after a trial in 2017 in Albany County’s district court. A hung jury in his first trial led to a mistrial.
Trent told the Laramie Boomerang she decided to prosecute Bogard after consulting with the case’s victim, who Trent said is amenable to cooperating with a third prosecution.
In ordering a new trial on a 4-1 decision, the Supreme Court justices decided that “prosecutorial misconduct” committed by the Albany County Attorney’s Office deprived the defendant of a fair trial.
The high court’s decision said Trent’s former deputy, Cody Jerabek, repeatedly made characterizations of the crime that were not supported by evidence.
Shortly after the supreme court overturned the conviction, Bogard was released on bond from the Wyoming Honor Farm, the state’s prison farm in Riverton.
Bogard was accused of raping a woman in the Ranger Bar’s bathroom in 2016. Before alleged rape, the two had been publicly kissing consensually, and Bogard claimed he ended the sexual encounter as soon as he realized consent had been withdrawn.
Jerabek repeatedly claimed at trial that the victim was “sobbing hysterically” during the assault.
Not only had the victim not testified that she cried during the assault, Justice Lynne Boomgaarden agreed with defense counsel in the majority opinion that Jerabek’s statements constituted illegal “impact evidence,” which constitutes using the emotional impact of a crime as evidence of the defendant’s guilt.
The Supreme Court also rebuked Jerabek for using profanity in his closing argument.
At sentencing, the case’s victim said the rape led to her dropping out from the University of Wyoming.
Bogard was charged with first-degree sexual assault after the incident at the Ranger Bar in October 2016.
At the time Bogard was convicted in 2017, Trent and others in Laramie described the conviction as a watershed movement for sexual assault justice.
The conviction was also thought to be particularly rare given the fact that the majority of the evidence was “he-said-she-said” recollections.
Originally from Washington, Bogard came to Laramie in 2010 on a full-ride scholarship to play for the University of Wyoming’s football team.
While nagging injuries made him a non-factor on the football field, Bogard earned degrees in accounting and finance and worked as a CPA in Cheyenne before he was imprisoned.
After the incident, the victim suffered from and received treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.