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Date: 06-10-2024

Case Style:

State of Wyoming v. Audrey Mae Lessner

Case Number:

Judge: Richard L. Lavery

Court: District Court, Sweetwater County, Wyoming

Plaintiff's Attorney: Sweetwater County Wyoming District Attorney's Office

Defendant's Attorney:

Click Here For The Best Green River Criminal Defense Lawyer Directory

Description: Green River, Wyoming criminal defense lawyer represented the defendant charged with felony child abuse under Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-503(b)(i) (2023).

[¶3] On June 18, 2022, Ms. Lessner agreed to babysit FF, an eleven-year-old. During the evening, Ms. Lessner took FF and her own minor child to the park and grocery store. While at the store, Ms. Lessner purchased food for dinner. After the dinner was prepared, Ms. Lessner and FF watched a movie while they ate. FF proceeded to pick at her meal rather than eating it. Ms. Lessner told FF to go sit at the dining room table and finish the meal.

[¶4] Approximately fifteen minutes later, FF called Ms. Lessner into the dining room and asked about taking a shower. FF told Ms. Lessner she finished eating the food and it only took so long because she was distracted by the movie. Ms. Lessner excused FF to take a shower. In the meantime, Ms. Lessner felt something was off and inspected the area. She eventually found the food spilling out underneath the table. When FF got out of the shower, Ms. Lessner confronted her about lying. Ms. Lessner told FF that was the third time she lied that day and had been previously warned if she continued to lie, she would be spanked. Ms. Lesser then told FF to go wait in the bedroom.

[¶5] Ms. Lessner proceeded to look up Wyoming’s corporal punishment laws on her computer and prayed to calm down because she was frustrated with FF’s dishonesty. Ms. Lessner then got a belt and folded it twice to make certain she had control of the buckle. She spanked FF with the belt eleven times around the buttocks area.

[¶6] After Ms. Lessner spanked FF, she had FF gather her belongings and took her to her grandparents’ house. FF’s grandfather answered the door when Ms. Lessner arrived. She told him to take the child because “she’s lied to me for the last time.” Once inside, FF complained of her leg hurting. The grandfather saw some red marks on her hip but did not have any initial concerns. However, the next morning FF’s bruises became more apparentdown the side of her leg and worsened as the day progressed. FF’s grandmother called the police to report the incident.

[¶7] Later in the day, FF’s father brought her into the Green River Police Department to meet with investigating officers. The officers observed several bruises on FF, primarily on her right thigh, and took pictures of the injuries. The next morning, FF’s stepfather took her to the hospital where a nurse examined her bruises and also took pictures. Two days later, a detective and assisting officers went to Ms. Lessner’s home with a search warrant. Ms. Lessner led the detective to a bedroom and pointed out the belt she used on FF. The detective picked up the belt and Ms. Lessner grabbed it from the officer’s hand to demonstrate how she used it.

Outcome: Defendant was found guilty at the conclusion of a bench trial.


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