A Lander man accused of sexually abusing children for nearly 40 years is asking the court to test whether one of his alleged victims is mentally competent to testify against him.
Donald Floyd Detimore, 70, has asked for a competency hearing in Fremont County District Court to weigh the mental competency of a 50-year-old woman who is now accusing him of committing sexual acts against her when she was 6 years old.
The woman was 12 when she told her parents and a social worker about the incident, according to court documents.
Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun on Tuesday opposed Detimore’s motion, saying Detimore doesn’t have a reason to believe that “a middle-aged, married, educated, employed, self-determining adult” is not mentally competent to testify against him.
"The defendant may freely inquire into her competency and/or (reliability) taint during cross-examination, as the defense would with any other adult witness," LeBrun added.
Two other victims who were about 16 and 7 years old when Detimore allegedly abused them also have come forward to testify against him.
Kept It Sealed
Detimore’s motion for a competency hearing is not publicly available, as LeBrun asked the court to seal it, and Detimore agreed with that motion.
LeBrun said in his motion to seal Detimore’s request that it could create “unnecessary prejudice” through media attention.
Detimore made other various motions to dismiss some of the state’s charges, but those also aren’t publicly available.
Multiple Decades, Three Alleged Victims
Detimore faces up to 85 years in prison. His trial is scheduled for July 24, according to the case file.
LeBrun’s office charged Detimore in October with:
One count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor for allegedly committing a sex act against a child in 2014 when she was between the ages of 7 and 9, which is punishable by between 25 and 50 years in prison.
One count of third-degree sexual abuse against the same girl, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
One count of committing immoral or indecent acts against a girl when she was 16 or 17 from the year 2000 to 2002, which is punishable to up to 10 years and between $100 and $1,000 in fines.
Another count of immoral or indecent acts against a 6-year-old girl in 1978.
The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office started investigating Detimore after a 17-year-old girl told her doctor she was having trouble sleeping, according to an evidentiary affidavit in the case.
The girl told her doctor that Detimore had “molested” her starting when she was 7. After that visit she also told her parents about it, and her father contacted the sheriff’s office.
Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Juliet Fish interviewed the girl April 27, 2022.
The girl told Fish that Detimore would often get her alone and show her pornography. This progressed to him touching her genitalia and telling her he was “playing a game” the girl now equates to “dry humping.”
Eventually, he committed oral sex acts against her, the affidavit says.
By the time she was 9 or 10, she began to rationalize that he was abusing her, the girl recalled, and she tried to avoid Detimore.
He told her that if she told other people what he’d done, he’d tell them all that she had “wanted it,” the affidavit says. The girl said she was scared because Detimore’s wife had been disabled by a stroke, and the girl did not know who would take care of her if Detimore went away, the affidavit says.
An Overheard Reminisce
Sheriff’s investigators and DCI kept digging.
Fremont County Sheriff’s investigator Eric Granlund told Fish that deputies went to Detimore’s neighborhood back in 2002, when a father called to report that there was “something going on” with Detimore and the father’s 17-year-old daughter.
Authorities did not file charges against him in at that time. Detimore was 49 in 2002.
DCI agents reached out to the teenager, who is now an adult woman.
The woman told DCI that Detimore had sex with her multiple times from 2000 to 2002, the affidavit says.
She agreed to place a recorded phone call to Detimore on May 5, 2022.
With DCI agents listening, the affidavit alleges, the woman got Detimore to reminisce about the sex acts and to admit that he believed they were wrong.
“I know it was wrong, I was weak and I know it, and I certainly don’t wish anything but the best for you,” Detimore said, the affidavit alleges.
Into The Jail
DCI agents arrested Detimore that day, May 5, 2022.
Fish and another agent met with him at the Fremont County Detention Center, read him his Miranda rights and interviewed him, the affidavit says.
Fish then confronted Detimore about the 7-year-old girl.
“We wrestled a lot. I don’t know,” Detimore said, according to the affidavit.
Fish also confronted Detimore about his sex acts with the 17-year-old girl.
“Things were not good for me right at the time,” he said, the affidavit alleges, “and I didn’t go looking for it. ... She came to me and I let it happen.”
Four Months Later
Four months later, the youngest victim’s father called Fish to say that other people told him over Labor Day weekend that Detimore had molested a young girl a long time ago, the affidavit says.
Fish identified the alleged victim, a woman who is now either 50 or 51, and found her in Riverton. She called the woman Sept. 8.
The woman burst into tears “immediately” after Fish explained why she was calling, the affidavit says. She said she remembered the abuse from 1978, when she was 6, and her family had reported it to the Wyoming Department of Family Services in 1984 after she told them about it.
A sheriff’s detective found the old DFS file from 1984. In it, a social worker described an incident in the man’s basement in which Detimore allegedly pulled down the girl’s pants and touched her vaginal area with his hand.
One month later in early 1985, a sheriff’s investigator interviewed Detimore and he confessed to sexually fondling the girl’s genitalia and her bottom on two separate occasions that summer, the affidavit alleges.
Clair McFarland may be reached at: