After arguing that police had no right to seize his journals and a state district court judge had no right to consider rape charges that didn’t stick, a convicted wife beater has lost his appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court.
Kye Tyrell Kreusel, 41, was convicted of felony strangulation of a household member and false imprisonment in 2021. The Sweetwater County District Court dismissed a first-degree sexual assault charge against Kreusel, and the trial jury on the case acquitted him of two more first-degree sexual assault charges.
The court sentenced Kreusel to 5-8 years in prison.
He asked the Wyoming Supreme Court to overturn his conviction, saying the evidentiary affidavit in his case didn’t give enough probable cause to justify police taking his personal journals, in which he’d described attacking his wife.
Kreusel also argued that the district court judge had no right to consider the dropped sexual assault charges when sentencing him.
The False Imprisonment
Kreusel and his wife lived in Green River with their four children. On May 21, 2020, they got into an argument because Kreusel believed his wife was ignoring him.
He locked her in their room and stood in front of the door, according to a Jan. 27 order by the Wyoming Supreme Court.
She asked multiple times to let her leave, but he refused for 45 minutes, the court’s order states.
Finally, he let her out so she could help their children with their online schooling.
Later that day, Kreusel’s wife went to the Green River Police Department to report the bedroom incident, but she also detailed other instances of sexual, physical, mental and emotional abuse.
Power Drill Threat
She reported that on July 19, 2017, she woke to Kreusel on top of her, mocking her as though she’d been having an affair, and touching her body and genital region.
A month after that, she woke on the couch to feel Kreusel biting her ear, Kreusel’s wife had reported.
He then flipped her onto her stomach, she told police, pulled her shorts and underwear down, tied her right hand behind her back using the string from her shorts and threatened to insert a screwdriver handle – which was attached to a cordless power drill – and put it “inside of her and turn the drill on.”
She screamed and resisted, the wife told police, after which Kreusel flipped her onto her back, took off her underwear, stuffed the underwear into her mouth and raped her.
On another occasion in 2020, Kreusel’s wife had said that he forced her to give him oral sex with her head hanging over the edge of their bed.
Kreusel was not convicted on any of the sex charges based on his wife’s police interview.
The court order says he was, however, convicted of felony strangulation of a household member, stemming from a Sept. 17, 2018, incident in which his wife said he threw her onto their bed and choked her until she saw “speckles” and blacked out.
She “thought she was going to die,” the order relates, adding that she was hoarse and bruised after that, and had a hard time swallowing and talking.
About two weeks after that initial interview, Kreusel’s wife told police that he kept several handwritten and digital journals, and had done so since he started counseling for anger at her father’s request.
Kreusel’s wife told police where to find the journals, and they obtained a warrant for them and seized them.
In one of the entries, Kreusel had described arguing with his wife, throwing her on their bed and holding her down.
“RUINED ALL PROGRESS!!” Kreusel’s journal added after the incident description, according to the order.
Kreusel challenged the right of police to seize his journals, saying there was not adequate evidence that crime proofs would be found in his journals.
The high court disagreed, saying because Kreusel’s wife made the link that he started journaling after seeking counseling for a reported choking attack on her, the search was founded.
‘Your Controlling Nature’
The district court judge told Kreusel at his sentencing hearing that though confined to the term limits for the crimes on which Kreusel was convicted, the court could consider the evidence behind the dropped rape charges, as evidence of “your controlling nature in this relationship.”
Kreusel disputed this in his appeal, calling it an abuse of judicial discretion.
The high court disagreed again, noting that district court judges can consider not just a man’s offenses, but also his character at sentencing.
“The fact that Mr. Kreusel exercised such control over (his wife) in their relationship speaks directly to his character and the seriousness of his offenses, namely strangulation,” the order reads.
The district court judge at sentencing had said that for Kreusel to end an argument by putting his hands on his wife is “so cruel, so difficult to understand, but (it’s) another example of your domination,” according to the order.