Base Resident Convicted of Sex Crimes Files Appeal

By Zoellick, Sarah | Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY), July 28, 2016 | Go to article overview

Base Resident Convicted of Sex Crimes Files Appeal


Zoellick, Sarah, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY)


Hed: Base resident convicted of sex crimes files appeal At a glance Timothy M. Wells was found guilty in October of sexual exploitation of a child, coercion and enticement, incest and abusive sexual contact after a trial in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming, and was sentenced to spend 15 years in prison. He recently filed an appeal in the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Online extra A longer version of this story, which includes details about the procedural history of the case, can be found at WyomingNews.com.

Wyoming Tribune Eagle CHEYENNE - A resident of F.E. Warren Air Force Base who was found guilty last year of committing sex crimes against a family member has filed his appeal brief with the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. In his appeal, filed July 14, Timothy M. Wells asks the court to review whether there was sufficient evidence presented at trial for the jury to convict him of sexual exploitation of a child.

At issue in the case is whether videos of Wells' nude victim captured by a camera he set up in the family's bathroom to monitor potential paranormal activity can be considered sexually explicit conduct.

The brief argues that mere nudity is not enough to support Wells' conviction.

"In all of the videos, there was never a time where (the girl) acted in a way other than getting out of the shower and putting on a towel," the brief says. "There was no evidence that Mr. Wells had edited or manipulated the videos from their original format. There is nothing to suggest that (the girl) was posed or set up by Mr. Wells." A federal jury found Wells guilty of sexual exploitation of a child, coercion and enticement and abusive sexual contact at his trial in October. He was sentenced in January to the mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release. Wells' appeal argues that the video footage falls more appropriately within the video voyeurism crime.

"The defendant admitted to recording his stepdaughter with a camera," the appeal brief says. "However, the (law) requires a second inquiry: does the image produced depict 'sexually explicit conduct?'" Sexually explicit conduct is defined by law, but a word within that definition - lascivious - is not, the brief says.

The brief notes different definitions, including one from a 1999 law book that says lascivious means "tending to excite lust; lewd; indecent; obscene. …

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