Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Man accused of sexual assault claims he's innocent


A man accused of sexual intrusion and hitting the alleged victim in the face claims he is innocent.

Austin W. Pacheco, 24, of Green River, recently appeared in the Third District Court of Judge Richard Lavery at an arraignment to first-degree sexual assault, third-degree sexual assault, battery and reckless endangering. The sexual assault charges are felonies, while the battery and reckless endangering charges are misdemeanors.

If Pacheco is found guilty of all four charges he could face a maximum sentence of 65 years in prison, and a year and a half in jail. He could also have to pay a maximum fine of $21,500. A jury trial has been scheduled to take place March 13, 2017.

According to court documents, on Sept. 25, 2016, a Green River Police officer was informed by an Rock Springs Police officer that an alleged sexual assault occurred in Green River and the victim was at the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County. The GRPD officer responded to the MHSC to speak with the victim identified as C.F.

The officer immediately observed C.F.’s lips were swollen with dried blood on them and she had a 1-inch long laceration inside of her bottom lip, swelling around her jaw and a scratch on the right side of her neck.

After observing the injuries, the officer asked C.F. what happened. She told the officer he had decided to hang out with Michael Keeley, who was an old friend of hers. She arrived at Keeley’s apartment, which was in Green River, and hung out with Keeley and a couple of his friends Pacheco and some guy named Josh.

She said the group had been drinking until about 3 a.m. Keeley and C.F. then went upstairs, and she slept on Keeley’s bed, while he Keeley went back downstairs to sleep on the couch.

Around 6 a.m., C.F. said she woke up to Josh and Pacheco trying to “feel her up” while she was in bed. She pushed them away and told them to stop while she tried to go back to sleep. Josh respected her requests and left the room, however, Pacheco did not.

C.F. claims Pacheco continued to feel her up even though she asked him repeatedly to stop. Pacheco allegedly forced sexual intrusion on C.F. even though she told him no. He got angry and then left the bedroom.

C.F. said around 6:30 a.m. she was going downstairs to get a drink of water and when she reached the bottom step, Pacheco rushed towards her, and allegedly grabbed her neck and strangled her for a few seconds. After that, Pacheco allegedly punched her in the face three times.

She said while Pacheco was punching her he kept making threats to her, but she couldn’t remember exactly what he said. She did remember that he allegedly threatened to kill her son.

Pacheco then grabbed his hoodie and left the apartment.

Keeley was interviewed and said he didn’t see what happened, but heard it. He said he found C.F. on the steps crying and bleeding. When he woke up he and Josh were by the couch, but he didn’t know where Pacheco was.

Officers contacted Pacheco who told them he had no idea what they were talking about. When officers asked him why his hand was red and had scratches on it Pacheco told them he had punched wall.

While Pacheco was being transported to jail he said “If I were there, which I wasn’t, I would not have touched her nasty ass... After she hit me, I popped her several times.”

During his book in, Pacheco allegedly admitted to punching C.F. two or three times, but said he didn’t touch her sexually.


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