By Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily
A man convicted of sexually molesting a female child for several years and soliciting sex acts from another now faces a possible sentence of more than 200 years in prison.
Riverton resident David Wayne Munda, 43, was convicted by a Fremont County jury on Friday of multiple charges of sexual abuse, along with battery for punching his molestation victim in the head while she was still a child.
Four charges of first-degree sexual abuse, three lesser sex charges and one battery charge were filed against Munda in August, when one of his victims, now a grown woman, confided to a friend that he had molested her nearly 80 times.
The woman’s secret soon reached the Riverton Police Department, which contacted her and asked her to tell her story.
As the investigation into Munda proceeded, another victim came forward, saying Munda had wrestled her onto his groin while he was in a state of erection and informed her he could “make her feel good.”
In his closing statements Friday morning, Munda’s defense attorney Jeff Stanbury attacked the women’s accounts against Munda by calling their character into question.
“When someone shows you who they are,” said Stanbury, “believe them the first time.”
He then listed the various misdeeds the women committed as teens and as children, calling the molestation victim “defiant” and repeatedly calling the victim of lesser sexual contact a liar.
He emphasized that the second victim’s story grew more intense as the prosecution waged on – a point the prosecutor would counter by noting the early police attempts to get her to speak of the incidents were relatively impersonal, compared to a jury trial.
Stanbury urged the jury to consider that the women may have fabricated portions of their accounts in an attempt at revenge against Munda, with whom they’d had conflicts for years.
He also pointed to timeline glitches in the main victim’s account and implied that her memory was faulty.
Seth Griswold, Fremont County deputy attorney and one of two prosecutors in the case, countered in his closing statement and rebuttal that the women would have no reason now to upset their lives and schedules, expose themselves to painful public scrutiny and endure the difficulties of a week-long criminal trial just to take a vengeful jab at a former childhood aggressor.
According to court documents, Munda began grooming his main victim when she was 5 years old.
“This case,” said Griswold, “is about who you believe. If you believe (the victims), there is no doubt.”
Indeed, the trial that began with jury selection Monday and ended Friday evening depended heavily upon contrasting accounts.
Physical evidence, such as an examination taken of the main victim seven months after Munda’s most recent sexual act against her, was inconclusive.
Munda will be sentenced at a later date.
Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun also prosecuted the case. Lander defender Kate Strike also defended Munda.
Munda also faces charges of child abuse against two boys in a separate case that is still being adjudicated.