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81-year-old Casper man sentenced for sexual abuse of 2 minors

Carl Downing at initials 10/3/22 (Gregory Hirst, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — An 81-year-old Casper man has been sentenced to 5–10 years in state prison for sexual abuse of two minors. The convicted incidents occurred 15 years apart.

Carl Clifford Downing Jr. was sentenced Wednesday in Natrona County District Court by Judge Dan Forgey.

One of the victims, now an adult, spoke at sentencing about the anxiety she experienced and the unhealthy coping mechanisms she had dealt with in the 15 years since the abuse. 

“I had to pretend I was fine when I absolutely wasn’t,” she said, adding that the statement she prepared was the hardest thing she’d ever had to write. 

According to the charging document, she was 14 years old at the time. She didn’t tell anyone about it until last August, when a 9-year-old girl disclosed instances of abuse by Downing to her, and she made the report to authorities.

She also said there had been other victims not reflected in the charges.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Taheri, who prosecuted the case, told Judge Forgey those charges may yet surface and that the five- to 10-year sentence recommended by the state was appropriate for this case.

Downing’s public defender, Kurt Infanger, acknowledged the seriousness of the conviction and the weight of the victim’s statement. “I don’t think that’s lost on anyone here, including Mr. Downing.” 

Downing has been incarcerated since his arrest on Sept. 30, and will be credited with 237 days served.