A Casper man was acquitted on six counts of child sexual abuse charges at the end of a three-day trial in Natrona County District Court.
Thomas “Tad” P. Byrum was charged with two counts of second degree sexual abuse of a minor and four counts of third degree sexual abuse of a minor.
But the eight-man, four-woman jury found Byrum not guilty after just two hours of deliberation late Thursday afternoon.
District Court Judge Daniel Forgey told Byrum and his attorney Tim Cotton that Byrum was released from his bond, and thanked the jury for their service.
After Forgey gaveled the verdict hearing closed, Cotton said, “I always believed Tad was not guilty.”
Prosecutor Assistant District Attorney Kevin Taheri said, “We respect the jury’s verdict.”
Cotton and Taheri declined to comment further.
The case began in September after a Natrona County Sheriff’s investigator learned of a sexual abuse disclosure that was reported to the Wyoming Department of Family Services.
A heavily redacted affidavit of probable cause filed in February said two girls told investigators that a man touched their “private area” on multiple occasions. Additionally, the girls told investigators that a man placed their hands on his genitals.
Court documents state the two victims were born in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
Charging documents allege that the abuse occurred from January 2015 through January 2019.
The Natrona County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation.
In early March, the indictment was issued and Byrum was charged with four counts of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor and two counts of second-degree serum abuse of a minor.
Second-degree sexual abuse of a minor is a felony punishable by up to 20 years behind bars.
Third-degree sexual abuse of a minor is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
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