An Evanston man’s case has been bound over to District Court after he was arrested and charged with four counts of second-degree sexual assault, along with one count of taking immodest, immoral or indecent liberties with a child. Rodney William “Bill” Blakeman, 52, is accused of sexually abusing two family members on multiple occasions and a former girlfriend’s daughter. Sexual assault in the second degree in the state of Wyoming includes “inflicting sexual intrusion.”
The alleged abuse took place between 1996 and 2002, according to an affidavit filed in Third District Court. Blakeman had been accused of sexual assault on multiple occasions in the past, even charged on one occasion, though that case was dismissed. During this investigation, which began on June 5, detectives reviewed a report given by an immediate family member of Blakeman’s on Sept. 1, 2016, in which she told police Blakeman had sexually abused her throughout her childhood until she was about 14 years old. No charges were ever filed over those accusations.
Another family member said she had witnessed Blakeman abusing a young family member and had reported it to Blakeman’s mother, “who did not take action to correct the situation.” That same family member said she intervened at one point and Blakeman beat her up.
The following allegations are taken from the affidavit:
In the current case, victim No. 1 was 17 years old when Blakeman invited her to his home on Incline Drive in November 1997 and sexually assaulted her after providing the girl with alcohol. The girl told her boyfriend at the time about the incident, and five years later the boyfriend convinced the girl to report the incident to police.
Victim No. 1 spoke with now-retired Evanston Police Detective Michael Putnam, who the girl said told her “the incident had occurred too long ago and that there was nothing that could be done.”
Evanston Police Detective Jake Williams contacted victim No. 1’s then-boyfriend, who corroborated the victim’s report of the incident. Williams also spoke with Putnam, who immediately remembered the report from around 2002. Putnam told Williams that he had interviewed multiple members of Blakeman’s family at the time, but no one would cooperate, so the case was marked inactive.
Two family members told police during this investigation that they knew Blakeman had abused victim No. 1, who also provided a journal she kept from 1998 to 2007. The journal included two entries that referred to the abuse.
Victim No. 2 told police that Blakeman sexually abused her throughout her childhood, when she was between the ages of 8 and 12, with the abuse escalating the older she got. She said she remembers the last incident clearly, as it happened on Thanksgiving Day when she was 12. Her family had gone to another residence for dinner, but she stayed home to finish watching a movie, and that’s when Blakeman showed up and sexually abused her.
The girl said she reported the incident three years later to a counselor, and soon after to her father and law enforcement, though she can’t remember which agency was involved. One of Blakeman’s immediate family members said she was aware of the abuse, and victim No. 1 and victim No. 2 had written letters to each other about the abuse, though the letters were later thrown away.
Another family member told police that she had witnessed Blakeman sexually abusing victim No. 3 because she often shared a room with the girl. Victim No. 3, who was 6 years old when Blakeman abused her, said she told a friend about two instances of abuse when she was about 10 years old.
The friend told her mother, who then spoke to victim No. 3, before filing a police report. Detective Williams reviewed a case from July 2002, which alleged Blakeman had sexually assaulted victim No. 3 in September or October of 2001, and again in January 2002. “Records indicate that charges were filed regarding the matter but were dismissed without prejudice by the Uinta County Attorney after being bound over to District Court,” according to the affidavit.
Williams said victim No. 3’s account of the incidents was corroborated during this investigation by the friend she told years ago.
If convicted, Blakeman, who remains in custody at the Uinta County Detention Facility, faces up to 90 years in prison and up to $40,100 in fines. He’s scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, in Third District Court in Evanston.