Former probation officer pleads not guilty to felony sexual assault

SHERIDAN — A Sheridan man who previously worked at the Probation and Parole Office in Sheridan pleaded not guilty to felony second degree sexual assault before Judge William Edelman Thursday morning in 4th Judicial District Court.

Charging documents allege Chris Yager engaged in a five-month romantic relationship with a woman he had previously supervised as a probation officer.

State law forbids sexual relationships between parole officers and their charges for a period of time after the supervisory period ends. In this case, Yager’s direct supervision of the victim ended in August 2012. The alleged relationship occurred between January and May of this year.

Shortly after charges were initially filed Aug. 9, Yager was placed on a paid leave of absence from the Wyoming Department of Corrections.

Spokesman Mark Horan confirmed yesterday Yager’s employment there officially ended Aug. 30.

Yager appeared in person, along with his attorney, Kevin Kessner of Yonkee & Toner law firm. Dianna Bennett acted as prosecuting attorney for the state.

Edelman acknowledged both he and the 4th Judicial District’s other judge, John Fenn, have known Yager for a number of years. In order to ensure fair proceedings, the case will be transferred to Judge Robert Skar of Wyoming’s 5th Judicial District, which normally encompasses Hot Springs and Washakie counties.

Yager was assigned a $10,000 unsecured bond. If convicted of the charge, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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