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Wyoming Judge: Court Secrecy Unnecessary in Sex Crimes

Robert Parks
Converse County Sheriff’s Office Photo

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A judge has ruled in favor of media organizations, concluding that circuit court hearings and records concerning sex crimes don’t have to be closed to the public.

The Wyoming Press Association, several Wyoming newspapers and The Associated Press had challenged the closure of proceedings for a Casper man charged with the 2012 sexual abuse and kidnapping of a Glenrock girl.

District Judge Keith Kautz of Torrington entered a decision on Friday.

Kautz concluded the circuit court was wrong to close hearings on whether to bind defendant Robert J. Parks over for trial. Parks was sentenced in August to serve from 44 years to life in prison in the case.

Kautz ruled defendants could be identified only by initials in circuit court.

Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael declined comment.

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