Teton County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Clark Allan said defendant William “Mike” Crothers was “smelly, sweaty, drunk, vulgar and inebriated” when he forced himself on two teenage girls at a party at his Wilson home in May.
Graphic content warning: There are some descriptions in the balance of this article that may be disturbing. — Eds.
The state filed its response Friday after Crothers asked the court to dismiss sexual battery and unlawful contact charges.
“In an odd argument, the defendant alleges that the statutes are unconstitutionally vague as applied to his conduct with extremely little reference to his alleged conduct,” Allan wrote in his response.
In the defendant’s motion to dismiss, Crothers’ attorney Tom Fleener wrote that the statutes are unconstitutionally vague and offer “zero guidance” for what is against the law.
Allan firmly disagreed.
“In reality, the statute and its related definitions are very detailed and specific in providing guidance as to what may be lawful or unlawful,” Allan wrote. “Mr. Crothers’ conduct was unlawful when he grabbed the 17-year-old victim’s buttocks, touching the clothing covering the immediate area of her anus.”
Police said Crothers showed up to his Wilson house in a taxi on May 11 when a teenage party was underway. About 20 high school students were at the party, witnesses told the Teton County Sheriff’s Office.
“When 53-year-old Crothers arrived he was already inebriated,” Allan wrote. “One minor female witness described him as slurring his words, unbalanced (all over the place), smelling of beer and sweaty.”
A witness said Crothers joined the party and made vulgar comments about the teenage girls.
“Mr. Crothers started making inappropriate comments directed toward the minor female children at the party including: ‘I want pussy,’ ‘I need pussy,’ ‘she’s hot,’ and referred to one female victim as ‘a hot piece of ass.’”
Crothers is accused of grabbing one of the victims and forcibly kissing her on the lips without her consent.
“After escaping his grasp she went outside and cried,” court documents state.
A witness said the victim tried leaning back as far as she could to avoid Crothers, but she was trapped.
A teenage boy had to physically pull Crothers off the victim to “end the encounter.”
Crothers is accused of grabbing the victim’s butt and kissing her twice.
He’s also accused of trying to kiss another underage victim on the lips, but she was able to turn her head enough that “he planted his unwanted kiss on her cheek rather than her mouth.”
That victim left the room to get away from Crothers.
“In his interview the defendant insisted he did not know any of the minor children in his home,” Allan wrote in court documents. “Furthermore, he asserted that he could not recall any of their names. Additionally, the defendant repeatedly stated that it would be totally inappropriate and constitute poor judgment for him to have conducted himself as alleged, including to have kissed any of the minor girls.”
Allan included that if the victim had been “just a few months younger,” the defendant would be facing a felony with the possibility of 15 years in prison.
Unlawful contact, breach of peace and permitting an underage party are misdemeanors, and each carries maximum possible penalties of six months in jail and $750 in fines. Sexual battery is a high misdemeanor that carries the possibility of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Initially Crothers was scheduled to have a trial last week, but the case has been postponed in Teton County Circuit Court.
His attorney has requested a February trial.