Editor’s note: This article includes explicit material and is not suitable for children.

By Sarah Elmquist Squires

Managing Editor

The man accused of sexually abusing three victims in incidents as long ago as the ‘70s and as recent as 2015 will face three separate juries, after Judge Jason Condor granted the defendant’s motion to sever the trials. 

Donald Floyd Detimore, 70, is charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, third-degree sexual abuse of a minor, and two counts of immoral and indecent acts. 

The first trial will begin on July 24 and will focus solely on counts one and two, which carry the biggest penalties: 25-50 years in prison on the first-degree charge, and up to 15 years on the third-degree charge. According to the affidavit, Detimore sexually abused the child when the child was 7-9-years old over the course of several years between 2012 and 2014. He showed the child his porn collection, touched the child’s genitals and had the child touch his genitals. He complimented the child’s body and told the child ‘“if only you were 18’ they could have intercourse,’” according to the affidavit. 

Counts three and four, both immoral or indecent acts, allege Detimore had sexual intercourse with a 16-17-year-old victim between 2000 and 2002; and that he sexually abused a child when they were approximately 3-4 years old between 1976 and 1977. Those will each get their own trial, “set at a time and date convenient to the court and parties,” according to the severance order. 

The order

Judge Condor issued two orders: one granting the motion to sever the trials, and another that was sealed. The sealed order, which dictates what evidence may be used in the trials, was granted in part and denied in part, and ultimately dictates “the state may not present other act evidence involving the other victims – specifically finding that the use of such evidence across counts would be unfairly prejudicial,” according to the severance order.

Judge Condor  weighed the value of judicial economy in combining the trials against how the different alleged victims, charges, and testimony could prejudice or confuse the jury. Noting that there are many trials scheduled and awaiting their turn in district court, Judge Condor wrote: “ … that cannot overcome the extremely unique, one of a kind set of facts and circumstances surrounding the counts involving these three victims, which, if all tried together would unfairly prejudice the defendant.” The extreme time spans, procedural histories and investigations, and the differences in the charges all “create fertile ground for both practical confusion and unfair prejudice.” 

Judge Condor also noted that among the state’s 13 potential witnesses, only the two DCI agents and a psychologist from the University of Wyoming would testify in all three cases, which would mean severing them won’t require three trials with virtually all the same witnesses. 

The allegations

Last spring the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Detimore after reports he had abused a victim in 2014, beginning when the child was approximately seven years old and continuing to when they were approximately nine. “Detimore told [the alleged victim] he would tell people that [the seven-to-nine-year-old child] ‘wanted it,’ which scared [victim],” according to the affidavit.

DCI Agent Juliet Fish learned of other allegations stemming from 2002 which were investigated but didn’t result in charges. In that case, the sheriff’s office reportedly responded to allegations of a rape and to a dispute between Detimore and the alleged victim’s parents who were upset, according to the affidavit, when they learned their child had been sexually abused by Detimore when the child was 16 or 17 and Detimore was 49. 

The oldest allegation stems between 1976 and 1977, when the alleged victim was three and four years old. He is accused of pulling the child’s pants down and touching them sexually. According to the original affidavit, “Detimore told [an investigator] that on one occasion, he was [at a location with the alleged victim] on his lap, and he placed his hand between [the child’s] legs and rubbed [the child’s genital] area and became sexually aroused. Detimore said, on another occasion, he placed his hand down the rear of [alleged victim’s] pants and fondled [the child].” That admission was ruled as ineligible for trial.