After Graphic Details From Victim, Judge Gives Child Molester More Prison Time

A Pinedale grandfather and Sunday school teacher who molested little girls for years had a plea agreement. But when Judge Melissa Owens heard a graphic statement from his victim, she gave him even more prison time. 

Clair McFarland

March 15, 20247 min read

Robert Wayne Mc Cutchan 8 18 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A Pinedale grandfather and Sunday school teacher who repeatedly molested little girls for years signed a plea agreement offering him a 10- to 15-year prison sentence.

But Wyoming District Court Judge Melissa Owens decided not to accept the plea agreement. She sentenced Robert McCutchan, who turns 78 this year, to between 16 and 23 years in prison instead, according to an order she signed Monday.

The tougher sentence came last month after Owens heard a harrowing one-hour speech by McCutchan’s granddaughter, Kaisha Simpson, who was 6 years old when he started molesting her.   

The abuse ended 23 years ago when Simpson was about 8, she said. But it’s still raging inside her head.

“It has not been 23 years for me,” she said, according to a copy of her statement sent Thursday to Cowboy State Daily. “It was my last year, it was my yesterday, it is my today and it will be my tomorrow. I can’t ever leave the crime scene. I AM this case’s crime scene.”

‘He Saw Me As An Opportunity’

Simpson’s mother gave birth to her young and wanted to give her up for adoption, she said.

But at the hospital where she was born, McCutchan held her for the first time and said, “We’re not giving her up, we’re keeping her,” Simpson related from the family lore she was told.  

Just six years later he started molesting her. “This man exploited his role as a grandfather, he saw me as an opportunity,” she said, adding that McCutchan would make his sexual touching and oral sex a game.

He’d have her sit on his lap and he’d touch her vaginal area. He placed her 6-year-old hands on his genitalia. He performed oral sex on her, had her watch him masturbate and molested her as she lay next to her sleeping mother, she said.

It happened so often she thought it was normal. He’d tell her to get a blanket and he’d snuggle with her – while touching her vaginal area – in a room with other family members nearby, said Simpson.

McCutchan would have been about 55 at the time.

She refused to soften the graphic details in court for his sake, she said, adding that she would relive and expose her own “daily hell” so no one else in the courtroom could hide from it either.

Simpson said McCutchan would use “we” statements to make her feel the abuse was her choice as well.

When she started rationalizing how “sickening” his actions were, she’d layer on extra clothes and lock herself in the bathroom to avoid him. She’d open a bathroom drawer to jam the door shut, Simpson said.

She still opens bathroom drawers, reflexively, she added.

Hit Like A Freight Train

Simpson compartmentalized her graphic memories for years. Even while struggling with relational issues from her abuse, she grew up, moved to Texas, had a baby boy of her own, then a girl. She didn’t sleep peacefully at night until 2015 when her son was born. He saved her life, she said.

In the autumn of 2018, she sent an “innocent” photograph of herself in a group text to both grandparents.

McCutchan, who was by then 72, sent back a private message saying, “That was a sexy photo, thank you for that.”

The words hit like a freight train.

Filth and trauma surged from the trenches of her brain and dropped her into a fetal position on her floor, even as her two toddlers played and crawled over her. Scents, feelings, memories and the sound of his voice rushed through her mind’s eye, she said.

But she kept quiet for another four years until February 2022. She was working with a detective in her job as a social worker, and she mentioned that the mother in the case they were working on should do more to protect her children from molestation, as she wished her own mother had.

The detective wouldn’t let it go. He pestered her until she gave the name of her attacker, she said.

That drove her to her own research. She learned of McCutchan’s earlier offenses, including one in the summer of 1975 in which he’d exposed himself to an 11-year-old girl.

The newspaper clipping from that incident, which Simpson provided Friday to Cowboy State Daily, says McCutchan was charged with felony indecency.

Simpson said he was also convicted of it.

Finally, she reported the abuse to Sublette County Sheriff’s Detective Ian Allen. She’d been petrified for months, but she decided to stop being afraid the day she spoke with Allen, she said.

If She Was Believed

McCutchan was charged in 1999 for taking indecent liberties with an 8-year-old child a few years prior. Authorities did not consider his child victim credible at the time because she had run away from home and gotten into trouble, and the Pinedale Circuit Court Judge of the time dismissed the case May 24, 2000.

Sublette County Sheriff’s Detective Travis Lanning tracked the other victim down in 2023, when she was about 37.

The woman said McCutchan was her Sunday school teacher. He’d have different girls sit in his lap during Sunday school. Sometimes he’d drive by her house and offer to take her to the park, where he’d have her perform oral and other sex acts on him, she said.

McCutchan’s recent indecent liberties conviction is for the abuse he committed against that victim.

Simpson rebuked the system for not listening to the other girl earlier.

“No one asked the question, ‘Why was (she) running away, or behaving the way she did?’” said Simpson in her statement. She said other girls came forward at that time but didn’t seek criminal charges.

“If (she) was believed, if the other two girls were listened to, I wouldn’t be up here,” she said.

The other victims who decided against taking their claims to court left other children open to future abuse, Simpson added.

Simpson said she chose to report McCutchan's abuse to vindicate McCutchan’s other victims, to prevent future abuses and to deal with the effects in her own life.

She said society ascribes some stigma to incest victims, but she’s not ashamed to go public about McCutchan’s molestation because it wasn’t her fault.

“I will not let him have any power over my life anymore,” she said. “One day my children will say their mom did not stay silent. Their mom did not bow down. Their mom did not give in; they will say that their mom fought for herself and for them.”

‘No Contest’

McCutchan pleaded “no contest” on Feb. 27, to one count of second-degree sexual assault and another of taking indecent liberties with a child. His sentencing happened at that hearing as well.

A “no contest” plea acts like a guilty plea, but the defendant doesn’t have to confess in court and may avoid some civil ramifications.

The plea agreement he signed in November was a gamble, according to its written terms.

Special prosecutor Tucker Ruby agreed to cap his sentencing argument at 15 years altogether – with separate sentences of 10-15 years (for count one) and 6-8 years (for count three) to run simultaneously in prison.

But Owens wasn’t bound by that agreement. She could take McCutchan’s “no contest” plea and follow it up with a crafted sentence of her own, the agreement says in bold, all-caps letters.

“The defendant further understands and agrees that he will have NO RIGHT TO WITHDRAW HIS PLEA in the event the Court does not accept the recommendations of the State,” it says.

Simpson urged Owens to do just that, saying it would send a message to McCutchan, to his victims and to the people who rallied around McCutchan to protect him when they should have protected his victims.

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter