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Former judge, attorney facing 50-plus years for sex crimes

TORRINGTON — Greg Knudsen, disgraced and disbarred attorney and former Torrington municipal judge, could spend the rest of his life in prison if he is convicted of a slew of felony sexual assault charges.

An investigation by the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation looked into incidents dating back to 2012, leading to three counts of felony sexual assault, each one carrying a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

He is also charged with felony burglary, which carries a 10-year maximum, five misdemeanor counts of stalking, which carry six-month sentences, and one misdemeanor charge of unlawful touching, which could net Knudsen, 70, another six months.

Knudsen was disbarred from the practice of law in 2019 by the Wyoming Supreme Court for having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a client.

DCI Special Agent Brad Wnuk filed five separate Affidavits of Probable Cause during his investigation, which started in September 2018 at the behest of the Goshen County Attorney’s Office.

In the court documents, the victims are listed as criminal informants (CI).

CI 28954

The earliest allegations were from 2012 and 2013.

A CI sought out Knudsen’s legal services for a criminal case, and CI later moved from the county after her encounters with Knudsen.

CI 28954, as she’s referred to in the court documents, had hired Knudsen as a precaution after an accident she believed could have resulted in criminal charges.

According to her, it only took a few weeks before she began to receive lewd texts from Knudsen – a recurring theme throughout the affidavits.

He began by asking if she was single.

“She began receiving other inappropriate texts from Knudsen ‘within weeks,’” the affidavit said. “’I was very quick.’

He asked her about her relationship status, what sexual positions she liked, and if she was into ‘threesomes,’ and told her she ‘had never had a man satisfy (her) before, but he would be able to do that.’

Knudsen also told her he had a yacht, a Corvette, and a ranch – “she felt he was ‘trying to buy her,’” the affidavit said.

Soon after, the affidavit said, Knudsen would allegedly call her and attempt to convince her to come stay at his house by lying that law enforcement officers were on the way to her house.

“Knudsen was aware of her fear of jail,” the affidavit said. “and used it in conversations with her.”

Soon after, Knudsen offered to trade his legal services in exchange for sex.

“Knudsen essentially told her she ‘was a pretty girl, and could get away with not making any payments if I didn’t want to,’” the CI told Wnuk. “Knudsen also told her ‘it shouldn’t be very hard to say yes to’ because basically everybody wanted him and he was very popular with women.”

The affidavit said the CI expressed she was made uncomfortable by Knudsen’s texts and the topics he spoke to her about, but didn’t want to upset him by refusing to engage him.

Documents further allege the CI had an alcohol problem during the time she dealt with Knudsen, and Knudsen invited her to his home and offered her alcohol.

One night in February 2013, Knudsen is alleged to have taken advantage of the CI after she had been drinking.

According to the affidavit, she had passed out in her own home, and woke up with Knudsen in her home, with his hand down her pants. The encounter began by Knudsen attempting to talk the CI into coming to his house to drink beer, but the CI declined because she had already been drinking and her daughter was home. Knudsen said he would come to the CI’s home and drop beer on her porch. Knudsen agreed to not enter the house.

“(CI) passed out on her couch, and she was lying with her back side against the couch and facing the TV,” the affidavit said. “When (the CI) woke up, Knudsen was lying on the couch with his back towards the TV, facing her. She said her pants were undone, and Knudsen had his hand down the front of her pants. (She) stated Knudsen had his hand inside her pants, and her pants zipper was down.”

The CI only woke up because her daughter had entered the room and yelled at Knudsen to stop.

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The second filed affidavit alleges that Knudsen had been hired by a woman to represent her during divorce proceedings, and that Knudsen told her she had to follow “his rules.” If she didn’t, he allegedly threatened she would lose custody of her children.

“(She) told agents that Knudsen repeatedly threatened her with the loss of her case and her children if he wasn’t her (attorney),” the affidavit said. “He told her she had to follow ‘his rules’ and made her engage in conversations about (her) sex life.”

According to the affidavit, Knudsen frequently sent the CI sexually specific texts during the summer of 2018.

Knudsen asked her to take “naked naps” with him and repeatedly asked sexual questions. Knudsen is also alleged to have instructed her what to wear, and told her not to wear underwear.

On Aug. 15, 2018, the CI met with Knudsen in his office in Torrington. He locked the exterior door after she entered, the affidavit said, and let her to his office. Knudsen forced the CI to hug him, and when she did, he kissed her on the lips, forced her to touch his penis, and told the CI to “bend over his desk.”

The CI refused and got away, and said she was “terrified out of my mind, what is he going to do to me?”

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Wnuk interviewed another informant in November 2018, who told him Knudsen had represented her in 2016, saying he began to send inappropriate texts almost immediately.

According to the affidavit, Knudsen asked her to hug him – and got aggressive when she spurned his advances. The CI said that Knudsen always closed and locked his door when they met in his office, and wanted her to hug him.

“CI relented and hugged him because she thought it was the only way he would let her leave the office,” the affidavit said. “SA Wnuk asked if she thought ‘something bad’ would happen in his locked office, and she responded, ‘every time I was with him.’”

Knudsen continued to text the CI pictures of horses and his property, while saying he “wanted to marry me, he was falling in love with me,” the CI said. “What do you say to this person? You’re in a lawsuit for $36,000,” the CI told Wnuk. “Here’s a person you need.”

When the CI declined Knudsen’s invitations to dinner, text messages from the attorney became “aggressive,” the affidavit said.

“(She) summarized the texts as ‘I can make you or break you’ types of texts,” the affidavit said. “He goes from threatening, where he’s crazy, to pathetic, to so sweet, but none of it works.”

Knudsen even went so far as to print out pictures of the CI and tell people they were dating, and to text the CI’s friend to try to convince the CI to “give him a chance.”

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Another CI told Wnuk that she had retained Knudsen in 2016, and over the course of the next several months, her meetings with Knudsen “involved sexual topics, such as how often she had sex, what positions she liked, whether she reached orgasm during sex, and that he liked her hair because ‘it was good for pulling during sex.’

“(She) expressed her discomfort at the subject matter, and Knudsen became very angry, threatened to stop representing her and told her she would lose her case without him,” the affidavit said. “(She) told Wnuk she ceased objecting after that, and felt like she had to endure it.”

Once again, Knudsen allegedly tried to solicit sex for legal services.

He refused to give the CI a bill, the affidavit said, and Knudsen told her he “takes care of his special clients.”

In the fall of 2016, Knudsen asked the CI to come to his home for meetings instead of his office, because they both had to work, and “portrayed it as a matter of convenience,” the documents said.

During the meetings, he would ask for hugs, and when the CI allowed it, Knudsen allegedly kissed her on the mouth and used his tongue. The affidavit said Knudsen touched the CI’s breasts and buttocks over her clothing several times.

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Knudsen, in his capacity as municipal judge, allegedly sentenced a man to 15 days in jail over a dog-at-large ticket – and attempted to seduce the man’s wife, who was also one of his clients.

The wife, who became an informant, had retained Knudsen’s services as defense counsel for a drug charge. Knudsen had represented the CI when her children were removed from her home because of the drug charge.

When the CI went to Knudsen’s office between March 2017 and September 2018, instead of discussing the CI’s case, Knudsen steered the conversation to unrelated inappropriate topics.

“’He would ask me how my marriage is, how my relationship is,’” the CI told Wnuk. “’Telling me to leave my husband, and then talking about being with strippers, and doing this and that.”

The CI also alleged that Knudsen invited her to a cabin in Guernsey.

According to the affidavit, Knudsen inappropriately touched the CI immediately after a hearing in October 2017, while still in the courtroom.

“Knudsen ‘said I did a good job, and then slapped me on the butt,’” the CI told Wnuk.

The CI’s husband was upset by the act. The CI also showed her husband several inappropriate texts from Knudsen, which also upset him.

“’He hates my husband,’” the CI told Wnuk. “He wanted to get with me.”

As local attorneys and judges have recused themselves from the case, Knudsen appeared before a visiting judge from Albany County earlier in April. Thomas Lee, Circuit Judge for the First Judicial District, released Knudsen under his own recognizance.

Knudsen is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on May 21. Knudsen is represented by Craig Silva. Kevin Taheri, of the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office, was appointed the special prosecutor for the case.