Jonathan Marshall O'Donnell (Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — A Casper man was sentenced to 29–35 years in prison for carrying on a sexual relationship with a girl that began when she was 14 years old.

Jonathan Marshall O’Donnell (born 1989) was sentenced before Seventh Judicial District Judge Dan Forgey on Wednesday, Nov. 15. He pleaded guilty in July to two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree and one count of enticing her to produce sexually explicit images.

O’Donnell was an assistant manager at the girl’s place of employment. That “position of authority,” as related in statute, constitutes the first-degree charges.

The case began March 24, 2023, when an off-duty Natrona County Sheriff’s Office deputy became concerned about a vehicle parked at the end of a road in Bar Nunn and alerted on-duty colleagues, according to the affidavit. 

A responding deputy found O’Donnell and the girl together in the vehicle.

Through subsequent interviews, investigators learned the sexual relationship had been going on for over a year.

The victim’s parents gave statements at sentencing, saying their lives were upended that day in March when the sheriff’s deputies brought the victim home.

“No punishment is enough,” her mother said. “I am numb.”

She showed Judge Forgey a picture of the girl at the age of 14, around the time the relationship would have started: “She looked like a child. There was no confusion.”

She said the overall repercussions would continue indefinitely, and lamented that the girl had abandoned long-held athletic aspirations during the course of the relationship.

Assistant District Attorney Blaine Nelson, who inherited the case since O’Donnell’s change-of-plea in July, acknowledged the parents’ frustrations with the plea-negotiation process (including the dismissal of some counts) but said the 30- to 35-year agreement was “a powerful sentence.”

O’Donnell’s attorney, Dylan Rosalez, asked the judge to consider a 10- to 35-year sentence, saying O’Donnell had been cooperative since his arrest and had agreed to plead guilty knowing the state would ask for at least 30 years in prison.

Rosalez said the pre-sentence investigation report had found that O’Donnell did not fit the profile of a predator.

“I’m not expecting forgiveness,” O’Donnell told the judge before the sentence was rendered. 

“I’m sorry for what I did. It’s not how I should have gone about … anything.”