District court roundup: Man pleads guilty to sexually assaulting woman

Sep. 25—CHEYENNE — A man admitted Monday in Laramie County District Court that he had sexually assaulted a woman in 2019.

Michael Louis Medina pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual assault, sexual contact, as part of a plea agreement. He was originally charged with first-degree sexual assault.

The state agreed to cap its sentencing recommendation at three to five years in prison. Medina and his attorney are free to argue for any sentence, including probation.

On June 3, 2019, a Cheyenne police officer responded to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center for a report of sexual assault. A woman said Medina may have had non-consensual sex with her earlier that day. She said she'd been drinking and lost consciousness before waking up next to Medina without pants on. She told law enforcement that she never consented to any sexual acts with Medina, according to court documents.

Police detectives later learned that a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner kit, or SANE kit, showed evidence of sexual intercourse, and that the DNA profile collected during the exam matched Medina's DNA. In an interview with a police detective, Medina denied having intercourse with the woman, according to court documents.

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Also on Monday in district court:

Frank Lopez Jr. pleaded guilty to felony theft and misdemeanor eluding. Shortly after his plea, Lopez was sentenced by Laramie County District Judge Thomas Campbell to 12 to 18 months in prison, which will run concurrently with a sentence in Colorado for the same incident. He was also ordered to pay $5,575.40 in restitution.

On Oct. 8, a Laramie County sheriff's deputy responded to a report of a vehicle theft in the 1400 block of County Road 241. A woman said her neighbor had seen an unknown man, later identified as Lopez, taking her car from her driveway. The woman said she had not given Lopez permission to take the vehicle, according to court documents.

The deputy later saw the vehicle on Interstate 25 and attempted to stop it, but Lopez accelerated to speeds greater than 100 miles per hour in a 65-mph zone. The deputy pursued Lopez onto Hynds Boulevard, where he drove at least 80 mph in a 30-mph zone, failing to stop at multiple stop signs, according to court documents.

Lopez later returned to Interstate 25 by driving onto an off-ramp, accelerating to more than 100 mph and driving southbound in northbound lanes. Vehicles swerved to avoid the vehicle driven by Lopez, nearly causing several crashes, the deputy wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

Several officers were called to the area in an attempt to close the interstate. The deputy followed Lopez until he exited at Missile Drive, when the pursuit was terminated because of the risk to bystanders, according to court documents. He was pursued to Larimer County, Colorado, by Wyoming Highway Patrol, and was eventually apprehended by Larimer County sheriff's deputies after stealing another vehicle.

(Editor's note: The following item is being included now because court records were not available earlier.)

Heard July 22 in district court:

Charles Anthony Martinez was sentenced by Laramie County District Judge Catherine Rogers to three years of supervised probation, with a suspended sentence of two to three years in prison.

He pleaded no contest in April to felony domestic battery (third offense) as part of a stipulated plea agreement.

On May 8, 2020, Martinez got into a fight with his girlfriend, according to court documents. He threw his phone at the woman, hitting her in the head and causing a raised lump and redness. The woman then left the apartment and reported the incident to law enforcement.

Hannah Black is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle's criminal justice reporter. She can be reached at hblack@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3128. Follow her on Twitter at @hannahcblack.

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