By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The court records of a Cheyenne resident accused of soliciting sex from what he thought was an 11-year-old girl have been sealed, blocking the media or public from seeing the details of the allegations against him.
Meanwhile, Clayton Tanner has been returned to the Laramie County Detention Center following his arrest for a probation violation. A spokesman for the center did not specify when Tanner was arrested
A Laramie County Circuit Court clerk on Wednesday denied a request from a Cowboy State Daily for records related to Tanner, who was arrested July 4 for alleged possession of child pornography and solicitation of a minor.
The clerk said the case had been sealed, so it was not clear when or whether Tanner was charged or what he was charged with.
Case records can be sealed for a number of reasons, but information about sexual assaults are automatically withheld from the public, although some details are released as criminal proceedings unfold. Further, to protect the identity of sexual assault victims, state law prohibits the release of the identity of alleged perpetrators until the case is moved to state district court.
No information was available as to why Tanner was on probation.
Tanner was arrested in the early morning hours of July 4 after a confrontation with a group known as “Predator Poachers,” which had created a fictional character identified as an 11-year-old girl with whom Tanner had allegedly been chatting online. The group runs a YouTube channel exposing alleged online predators.
Tanner was released from jail on July 7 because no charges were filed against him within the 72-hour period authorities are allowed to hold a person without charges. In Wyoming, prosecutors can file criminal charges at any time after a crime.
One of the men involved in the group “Predator Poachers” who declined to comment on the record provided Cowboy State Daily with more than 50 screenshots of the alleged conversation between Tanner and the “girl.”
The screenshots of the conversation identified one of the people in the conversation as Tanner.
The group later released a 52-minute video which documented group leader Alex Rosen confronting Tanner, going through the graphic text messages, and later showing Tanner getting arrested.