A Teton County man is facing a charge of first-degree sexual assault after police said he forced himself on a woman and smacked her face before raping her.

Chris Tarpey, 31, pleaded not guilty to the charge Wednesday in the 9th Judicial District Court in Jackson.

Tarpey’s name was made public for the first time Wednesday. It was previously protected under Wyoming’s restricted disclosure act.

[The following information, taken from public records, details the allegations against the defendant and could be triggering to some readers. — Ed.]

According to court records, Tarpey is accused of showing up drunk at the woman’s Jackson apartment late on July 23 and then stripping naked and getting into her bed.

The woman told Jackson Police Department detectives that the plan was to smoke and watch a movie. Text messages showed that she specifically told Tarpey there would be no sex.

“[The woman] stated Mr. Tarpey forcefully removed her clothing and got on top of her,” police wrote in court documents. “[She] asked him to stop. [The woman] said Mr. Tarpey stared at her and struck her right cheek with his palm, twice.”

Then he said, “Take it, bitch,” according to records.

The woman again asked him to stop, but she said Tarpey kept physically positioning her where he wanted her, penetrating her without her consent.

“After [the woman] and Mr. Tarpey separated, she confronted him through text message telling Mr. Tarpey that what happened in the bedroom was not acceptable,” court records state. “Mr. Tarpey responded with an apology.”

When she reported the assault July 26, the woman provided detectives with text messages and a photo of her bruised cheek.

Detectives tried to reach Tarpey on July 28 but could not locate him at his apartment.

The next day, Tarpey told detectives he was on his way to South Carolina, but that he would be back in Jackson the following month.

In August, Tarpey wasn’t back and couldn’t be reached by police, according to documents. In September, Jackson detectives asked police in South Carolina to find Tarpey.

They eventually got a felony arrest warrant, and Tarpey was booked in December at the Charleston County, South Carolina, Detention Center as a fugitive. He has since bonded out and appeared virtually before Judge Timothy Day in the 9th Judicial District Court this week along with his attorney, Dick Mulligan.

The Teton County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office made a motion for a protection order for the woman, which the court granted.

Tarpey’s pretrial hearing has been set for April 27, with a jury trial to follow on June 1.

[If you’re a victim of sexual assault or found this coverage triggering, you’re encouraged to call the Community Safety Network at 733-7233. — Ed.]

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or courts@jhnewsandguide.com.

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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