A Jackson Hole High School student facing two counts of felony sexual assault will not be allowed to move to Florida to finish high school.
The 18-year-old, who is being referred to only by his initials, “RCR,” appeared Tuesday morning in Teton County Circuit Court with his attorney, Dick Mulligan. Mulligan asked Judge James Radda to allow his client to move in with his grandparents in Florida and enroll in a high school there.
“Your honor, when RCR was released on certain conditions of bail one of those conditions that was imposed by the court at my request was that he not attend Jackson Hole High School,” Mulligan told the court. “I requested that term of release because RCR’s attendance could be problematic for him and other students including RCR’s brother. I was correct. RCR’s brother has had some harassment issues because of these charges.”
Mulligan said the defendant’s brother withdrew from Jackson Hole High School and is now attending private school in another state.
“The Teton County School District has not suspended him from school, but he did a voluntary withdraw because of these charges,” Mulligan said. “This creates somewhat of a problem. He is 18. He and his family would like him to finish high school and go on to college.”
Mulligan said the teenager’s mother or father would take him to Florida where he could live with his grandparents and enroll in high school to finish his senior year.
RCR has been on house arrest since his parents bailed him out of the Teton County Jail in December. He is allowed to leave his parent’s Teton Village home only to attend medical and legal appointments, go to the gym with his dad and go to dinner or another family activity once a week under parental supervision.
The prosecution objected, saying the defendant already has a lenient deal.
“Your honor, we are not dealing with a juvenile case. We are dealing with an adult who is charged with two counts of first-degree sex assault,” Teton County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Clark Allan said. “They are strong cases. He is fortunate to be on house arrest. We can’t just pull him out of here and stick him in high school somewhere else. It’s about keeping the community safe and that doesn’t just mean our community.”
Radda agreed with Allan.
“When I ordered the conditions of bail I was confident it ensured the safety of the community,” Radda said. “Those conditions were reasonable. Those conditions are he’s local and on house arrest with a GPS monitoring device. I don’t have that level of confidence under this proposed modification of bail, so with all due respect I am going to deny the motion.”
Radda added that if the defendant wanted to finish high school there are other ways for him to do that.
“If the incentive is there on his part to finish high school there are ways he can do it without going to Florida,” Radda said.
Teton County School District Information Coordinator Charlotte Reynolds said the school district doesn’t have an online degree program but that there are ways for students to get online schooling through Virtual 307, a statewide K-12 online class option.
“The state of Wyoming does have several options for students to complete education from a virtual option,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds couldn’t comment on the student’s status at Jackson Hole High school but said, “the school district policies pertain to incidents that occur on school property or during the school day.”
RCR is charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault after two victims filed reports of rape. The accounts stem from March 2018 and March 2019, according to investigators with the Teton County Sheriff’s Office.
On Tuesday attorney Mulligan withdrew from one of the cases, saying that Tom Fleener will be counsel for it.
RCR was released on a $15,000 cash bond after his Dec. 9 arrest.
The defendant’s preliminary hearing was supposed to happen Tuesday but he waived it, meaning the teen will soon be arraigned in Teton County District Court where his name will be made public per Wyoming law.