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Even 1-year-old Jarubia Jackson-Meade is put to work repairing her family’s home.


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Campbell County looks into process of starting own college district
Making Gillette College its own entity will have to clear numerous hurdles if it’s to happen

If Gillette is going to have its own community college district, it will ultimately be the voters who have the final say.

But before it reaches the ballot, it must cross two hurdles. The first is getting approval from the Wyoming Community College Commission. The second is getting approval from the state legislature.

State Rep. Eric Barlow, R-Gillette, met with Campbell County Commissioners last week to go over the process of forming a new community college district in light of the recent loss of athletics at Gillette College.

On June 25, the Northern Wyoming Community College District announced it was cutting athletics at Gillette and Sheridan. Over the next five days, Gillette residents put together a plan to fund sports at Gillette College for the 2020-2021 school year with private dollars while also working toward a longer-term solution.

At a July 2 meeting, the district board didn’t accept the proposal, partly because it only addressed Gillette College and didn’t include Sheridan College. Immediately after the meeting, Gillette College supporters began talking about the process to break away from Sheridan.

Barlow said the legislation to form a new district is complicated and ambiguous and needs to be cleaned up.

“We’re treading on ground that hasn’t been completed since 1968,” he said. “I want to make sure Campbell County, and any other county that wanted to have a community college district, has a clear road to accomplishing that.”

“They created a system that’s very hard to adapt and adjust to changes and circumstances over time,” said Norine Kasperik, a former state legislator and former Gillette College nursing instructor.

She added that it worked in Gillette despite that because “Gillette was such a unique community that worked hard to make it happen.”

“What we’re trying to do is get a governance structure and a revenue source. That’s what a community college district does,” Barlow said.

If Gillette wants to form its own district, the Northern Wyoming Community College District would have no say.

If there are assets in the service area of the new district that belonged to the old district, “the new district takes over those assets,” Barlow added. That’s a key point in Gillette because all of the college buildings were built with substantial contributions from the county, city, hospital and local donors well as state money.

The application for the formation of a community college district must be submitted in the form prescribed by the commission and have at least 500 signatures from qualified electors. The application form is not readily available, Barlow said.

Josh McGrath, president of the Gillette College Booster Club, is taking the lead on collecting signatures.

Whenever the community college commission receives a proper application for the formation of a community college district, it will conduct a survey to consider the following:

  • The need for a community college in the proposed district
  • The need for the community college in the state
  • The financial ability of the proposed district to support a college
  • The educational soundness of the proposed community college plan
  • Any other matters that might help the commission in considering the application

The county commissioners will reimburse the community college commission for the survey’s costs.

The community college commission will have 90 days to decide whether to approve the application.

Barlow said in the best case scenario, the commission would approve the application before the start of the 2021 legislative session. Then, he or another legislator would introduce a bill for the formation of a new district to get the approval of the state Legislature.

If the Legislature passes the bill, then the next step is putting the question before the voters in an election, which can be held in May at the earliest, and it also can be held in August or November.

There will be two things on the ballot. The first is a question asking if a community college district should be created in Campbell County and if a special mill tax should be levied. The second is a list of candidates for the new district’s board of trustees.

A district can assess fewer than 4 mills, but it won’t have access to state funding unless it assesses at least four mills. Barlow said that is something he hopes to address during the next legislative session.

“I don’t know that citizens would want to assess four mills,” Barlow said. “But we still should have access to a proportionate share of state funding if we chose to.”

A mill levy is the number of dollars in taxes that a property owner must pay for every $1,000 of assessed value. In Campbell County, the energy industry carries most of that weight.

“It’s definitely a concern, not only for coal but oil and gas and any other industries, because they shoulder the responsibility,” said Commission Chairman D.G. Reardon.

This year, Campbell County’s assessed valuation is about $4.24 billion, meaning one mill brings in about $4.24 million.

In 2019, Sheridan County’s assessed valuation was $449.5 million, meaning one mill brought in about $449,500. Sheridan College receives five mills, which comes out to about $2,247,500.

The commissioners were in favor of breaking off from the district.

“I think it’s time to find an exit strategy,” said Commissioner Del Shelstad.

“Sheridan is not going to bend over backwards to make things work for Gillette,” Reardon said.

“Never have, never will,” said Commissioner Bob Maul. “It’s quite a slap in the face after all the dollars we put into this college.”

They recognized that it would require a tax increase, which will be a tough sell in Campbell County.

“That’s where people have some difficulty,” Reardon said.


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Gillette Reproductive Health regroups from financial setback

Ana Alvarado exists in the middle.

Ana and her husband, Misael Alvarado Sr., are both employed. She is a care provider for Wyoming who attends to adults with disabilities. Her husband is a cook at the Lariat Café.

But neither of their jobs offer health insurance and their income is not low enough to qualify for coverage through Medicaid.

As a result, all health care expenses for her and her family of four come out of their own pockets.

“In my case, I don’t make enough to buy medical insurance and I’m not on the poverty level to be able to get Medicaid,” Alvarado said. “So what am I going to do? We’re the people that are stuck right in the middle and that’s me, that’s how I ended up at Gillette Reproductive Health.”

For people in Alvarado’s situation, there are limited health care options.

With Campbell County’s recent cut of its funding for Gillette Reproductive Health, those options are now even fewer.

How we got here

During county budget discussions in April, commissioners decided to cut the agency’s funding next fiscal year to zero.

Commissioners Del Shelstad, Colleen Faber and Bob Maul were against using tax money to fund the nonprofit agency. Shelstad and Faber were the most outspoken and based their decision on their anti-abortion stance. They were concerned that Gillette Reproductive Health did abortion referrals and gave birth control pills to minors without parental consent.

That started a debate within the community about what services the agency did and did not provide. Shelstad, Faber and Maul met with Julie Price Carroll, the agency’s director, and toured the facility to learn more about Gillette Reproductive Health.

The decision was made official when the county’s budget was approved last month.

Gillette Reproductive Health had requested $35,000 from the county’s Optional 1% Sales Tax revenue for fiscal year 2020-2021. In the past, the agency had received $25,000 annually. The agency used the money from the county Optional 1% Sales Tax specifically for wellness exams for women.

That buy-in from the county helped lower the costs women have to pay to get a wellness exam. With the county funding, the exam costs $25. Without it, the exams range from $145 to $250, Carroll said.

At the end of May, a private fundraising campaign was started to help make up for the shortfall in county funding. It has raised more than $16,000 so far. The agency will use that money to lower the cost of the wellness exams.

“We have such a great community where people really step up to the plate to help people in need,” Price Carroll said.

Wendy Gauntner, chair of the organization’s board, said she has been “pleasantly surprised” by the outpouring of support.

“It shows that people in our community know the value we provide, that they were willing to go into their own pockets to support us,” she said.

The debate over county funding has brought increased awareness to the organization. Price Carroll said her agency has recently helped several people who first heard about Gillette Reproductive Health through this situation.

“We’re reaching people that we may never have reached before,” she said.

Surprise and disappointment

The County Commission’s decision came as a surprise to Gillette Reproductive Health.

“I’m not quite sure why they decided not to fund us, because really there was nothing there,” Price Carroll said.

“All of it feels kind of personal and confusing toward the clinic,” Gauntner said.

Many people in the community have been laid off and have lost their health insurance, said Stacie McDonald, a resident and vocal supporter of the agency.

“So it seems short-sighted to reduce funding to one of our only low-cost medical providers,” she said.

Commission Chairman D.G. Reardon said that as the county entered its budget process, he didn’t expect funding the agency to be as big of an issue as it became. But he added that during an election year like this one is, things like this should be expected.

“Sometimes some subjects come to light and they’re like a lightning rod,” he said.

He said he’s not surprised the community has stepped up to support Gillette Reproductive Health, and he hopes it keeps the momentum going.

“We need to figure out how to continue to support them through private donations,” he said.

McDonald said many people in the community don’t realize how close their neighbors are to being in financial trouble.

“One medical bill, one car repair, being sick for a week can really create a tailspin for someone who’s living close to the poverty line,” she said.

A needs assessment of the community found that one of the highest priorities is access to affordable health care. Price Carroll said that with the cut in funding, the number of STDs, unplanned pregnancies and abortions could increase.

“They are the ones who are trying prevent your child from getting an abortion or from getting an STD,” Alvarado said of Gillette Reproductive Health. “They are giving them education. And, unfortunately, it seems like the parents are less educated than the teenagers.”

Alvarado, 41, has been going to the agency for various services like wellness exams, pap smears, breast exams and weight management for about nine years. Recently, she underwent a full hysterectomy surgery, a procedure that she could not have afforded without the clinic’s sliding fee scale, Alvarado said.

“Where was I going to afford that type of surgery?” she asked. “From where? There’s just no way.”

Alvarado came to the United States when she was 4 years old. Her family brought her from Chihuahua, Mexico, to New Mexico. From there, she found herself in Phoenix, Arizona, before deciding to relocate her husband, son and daughter to Gillette 12 years ago.

“It’s a small town, everybody knows everybody,” Alvarado said. “People embrace you even though back then we weren’t so embraced. But it’s changed a lot and people are wonderful.”

In a larger city like Phoenix, there were more affordable health care options available than in Gillette, she said. Not only does Alvarado not qualify for Medicaid based on her household income, she has made it a point to support her family without government assistance.

“From the beginning, basically what we’re taught is you’re not here to depend on the government,” she said. “I try to avoid that as much as I can.

“Even though I am a U.S. citizen now … I try to avoid it, because I don’t want to be another burden to the United States.”

Responding to claims

McDonald said she was excited to see an increase in people interested in the community’s health care needs, but was disappointed that “misinformation (about the agency) was rampant.”

Price Carroll said she did her best to educate people and answer any questions they had.

“I’ve tried to be as transparent as I could through this whole process,” she said. “All I can do is be honest as I can, and people can decide from there.”

The criticism

In past years, there were rumors that Gillette Reproductive Health provides abortion services. The agency has never performed an abortion.

This year, there were claims that the clinic has provided abortion referrals. Price Carroll has denied this multiple times.

“We have never provided abortions in this clinic ever, and we don’t even talk about abortions,” she said in May. “When we talk about (family planning) it doesn’t even enter into our minds.”

Price Carroll said she and her staff have signed an agreement that says they “will not use abortion as a form of family planning, nor will we be able to do referrals.”

As a recipient of federal funding from the Title X Family Planning Program, Gillette Reproductive Health is prohibited from referring patients for abortion care.

Another issue that the agency’s opponents have brought up was that it provides the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill to minors without parental counseling. According to a petition that was circulated around town, “this is essentially providing a means to an abortion.”

Since 2013, anyone of any age can buy it at a store without a prescription. If someone gets it from Gillette Reproductive Health, they also will receive counseling “to reduce risky behaviors” so that they don’t end up in the same situation down the road, Price Carroll said.

‘The right steps’

Andria Showers was 17 when she first visited Gillette Reproductive Health. As a teenager who just graduated from high school and was living on her own, she said it gave her affordable health care options that would be otherwise have been unavailable to her or out of her price range.

Although she already was working at the Days Inn, where she is now a manager and receives health insurance benefits through her company, at the time she had just started the job and was uninsured.

At first, she went to the clinic for wellness exams and STD checks.

But once she suspected she may be pregnant, Gillette Reproductive Health helped her confirm that while offering guidance on what she needed to do going forward for a healthy pregnancy.

“I mean, I was younger when I got pregnant with my son so I was nervous,” she said. “It was kind of frightening. But they gave me the right steps in which I needed to go and pointed me to the right doctor.”

Showers was 18 when she found out she was pregnant with her first child, Brentley Smith, who is now 5. Since then, she continued going to the clinic. When she became pregnant again with her daughter, Adelyn Conroy, 1, Gillette Reproductive Health helped to confirm that pregnancy as well.

“They just let you know what you need to do to be healthier and they offer a lot of services to people who can’t afford it regularly by a regular doctor,” she said.

Divisiveness

The debate over the agency’s funding turned personal and political at times, with passionate voices on both sides of the issue.

“I think it just reflects a broader, national division in our country,” Gauntner said. “It’s really too bad, because we all have to live here together. To be so divisive about that really helps put some people in our community at a disadvantage.”

McDonald said the commissioners are there to represent the county as a whole.

“When elected officials are representing an entire population of people, there has to be space for everyone,” she said. “There has to be consideration for even those who fall outside of a political party’s platform.”

At a recent commission candidate forum, Shelstad said that “the vast majority of this county did not want to fund that agency. And it was my job to stand up for that.”

Faber has said that as a Republican, she cannot support funding Gillette Reproductive Health with public money.

“It was disheartening that even when information was shared, it did not feel like there was an opening for everyone to change their mind,” McDonald said.

People also have said that there are other places in town that provide the same services that Gillette Reproductive Health does, including the hospital, Campbell County Public Health and the Women’s Resource Center, and that they’re available at lower costs.

Alvarado said that she has had a hard time getting financial assistance from other health care providers in Gillette. With higher costs coming to Gillette Reproductive Health, she does not know what she is going to do.

“You just have to look for a way,” Alvarado said. “You have to fight your way through whatever comes at you. I’m not going to move just because I don’t have health care. I’m going to look for a way to get what I need. Whether that means I have to pay really high doctor bills, that’s what it’s going to have to be.”

Showers said she worries about what a young person in a similar position to the one she was once in would do without affordable services.

“I think it was a huge impact because there aren’t a lot of places in town you can afford to go and get those testings done,” she said.

Price Carroll said she will go back to the commissioners in 2021 and ask for county funding. In the meantime, Gillette Reproductive Health will continue to serve the community.

Gaunter said she wishes the commissioners would have come up with a solution to help those who would be affected by the county’s decision to not fund the organization.

Cutting the agency’s funding is “not a solution, it’s punishing people who need a service,” she said.

“You’re not hurting them (Gillette Reproductive Health), in reality,” Alvarado said. “You’re hurting us. You’re hurting the people who need this.”


Halle Hladky, a junior qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo, pushes her 20-year-old horse Hawk during a practice on July 1.


Razor City BMX track maintenance worker Corey Bragdon waters down the track after large hail pummeled the track the evening before their big upcoming race weekend Friday.


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Former judge 'a lot sad' over volatile council meeting, but has no regrets

For the first time in more than four decades, Doug Dumbrill isn’t part of the local legal or judicial system.

His surprise, on-the-spot resignation as a municipal judge during Tuesday’s Gillette City Council meeting began a 15-minute confrontation with the audience that escalated into a shouting match. The council chambers had to be cleared and the verbal scuffle cased a 45-minute recess of the meeting.

While that’s not what he intended, Dumbrill says he’s also not sorry, because the ideals he expressed needed to be said and that somebody needs to stand up to what has become an increasingly angry and aggressive effort to oust Mayor Louise Carter-King and the rest of the council.

After digesting the incident for a couple of days, the former judge said he’s not surprised at how his remarks were taken, but a back-and-forth shouting match is not what he intended.

“I can say this: Among the possible things that could have happened in that room, I had anticipated that might be one of them,” he said Thursday. “That was not what I thought was going to happen, but it wasn’t completely unanticipated.”

How we got here

The altercation was the culmination of events that began June 9, when the mayor and council met in an executive session to discuss complaints the city had received about councilman Shay Lundvall “liking” some potentially offensive, sexist and racist social media posts.

During that behind-closed-doors meeting, Lundvall, who attended via telephone, was given a choice: resign or the mayor and council would make the complaints public and openly call for his resignation.

The next morning, Lundvall resigned. And in a lengthy Facebook post two days later, said he expressed regret for resigning and that he felt pressured to make that decision. He also acknowledged that as a City Council member he needs to exercise better judgment and apologized for liking the offensive posts.

The revelation that Lundvall was given an ultimatum and that the intention of Carter-King and the rest of the council was to keep it secret stirred up a local political hornet’s nest. Lundvall supporters have since called for the former councilman to be reinstated, protested at City Hall twice and have repeatedly called for Carter-King and the council to resign.

The movement has gained momentum and the level of anger and frustration aimed at city government has escalated.

While Lundvall’s situation was the catalyst for the protests, there has been a growing dissatisfaction with the mayor and council for some time, said David Marquiss, a vocal member of the movement to oust the local politicians.

Frustration levels are already high overall with difficulties in the local energy industries and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has contributed to people’s belief that they need to take action, he said.

“Those (factors) could definitely play a part in this,” Marquiss said. “This is the first issue (locally) that’s really gotten ground on.”

He also said the mayor and council brought a lot of the criticism on themselves by trying to deal with the issue outside the public’s eye.

Marquiss also said much of the anger is about a subsequent move by the council to release a raft of the offending posts Lundvall liked, all Facebook posts made by Gillette resident Bob Vomhof. He said many people are incensed that the city would paint a bullseye on a resident and that the posts could’ve still be released with Vomhof’s name redacted.

“If they had done it all in public and they had left Vomhof’s name out of it, I don’t think we’d see this outcry,” Marquiss said. “I still would’ve been against it, but I don’t think we’d be seeing near the outrage we’re seeing now.”

Instead, Vomhof has responded by publicly calling out the city and leading the charge in protesting Carter-King and the council. He entered a float in the Fourth of July parade depicting a jail cell with a representation of the mayor in it to symbolize he believes her actions are criminal.

Phone calls and messages to Vomhof to contribute to this and previous stories on the issue haven’t been been returned. He also has declined to comment on the record.

Getting personal

Vomhof also sent a formal complaint to the city, part of which attacks Dumbrill’s sister, Debbie McLeland, a former school district trustee and mother of Councilman Nathan McLeland.

The councilman said he’s aware of the complaint and what was said about his mother, but that he doesn’t want to publicly comment on the issue.

“I’m not going to get in a back-and-forth with Vomhof over his posts,” he said. “I’m out trying to do the best I can for the city. I hope our community works through this.”

In his complaint, Vomhof blames Debbie McLeland for the resignation of former Campbell County High School football coach John Scott 20 years ago and said she and her family has a long-held vendetta against him and his family.

For his part, Dumbrill said he’s not aware of any animosity from his sister or her family toward Vomhof’s and that the “very personal and hateful” comments made in the complaint are unfounded.

“I don’t know that incident and I don’t know anything about it,” he said. “But I do know my sister and I know what my sister will and won’t do, and she says that never happened. And I believe her and I believe her because of who she is.”

Having one son killed by a drunken driver, another son nearly killed when a truck hit his bicycle and her husband burned and blinded in an oil well accident, Dumbrill said his sister has gone through her share of family tragedies.

He also said Vomhof’s attack doesn’t reflect the rest of the Gillette community and that it’s basically kicking someone who’s already down.

“I’ll tell you something about Debbie McLeland,” Dumbrill said. “A lot of this has to do with kicking people when they’re down … and Debbie McLeland will be down for the rest of her life. I can’t imagine someone coming in and kicking her now.”

Until now, the local community has been nothing but a godsend to the McLeland family, he said.

“When Nathan McLeland was hit by a truck on his bike and he was laying in the ditch on South Southern Dive, good Samaritans from the city of Gillette saved his life,” he said. “They came running, they put a tourniquet on him and they saved his life.”

He also said the community stepped up to help and console the family at other times.

No regrets

One of the points Dumbrill said he was trying to make when Tuesday’s meeting got out of hand was that freedom of speech doesn’t mean people also have freedom from responsibility for exercising that speech.

He said that as a judge, he was bound by professional ethics to not take a public stand on the mayor and council debate. That’s why he resigned, a decision he calls a worthwhile sacrifice because he feels it’s important to take a stand. He doesn’t think those opposing the council and calling for resignations and prosecutions are exercising theirs responsibly.

Dumbrill also said he doesn’t regret his choices, but admitted there have been some unintended consequences.

“I’m not sorry for (speaking out),” he said. “I am sorry that my wife is frightened, and I mean that in a real sense.

“I hope someone will come forward and reassure her she doesn’t need to be. But from everything she sees, she’s somewhat frightened — no, she’s really frightened.”

He also said that, in the wake of the City Council meeting meltdown, he’s received a lot of positive feedback from people who say they’ve been afraid to speak out against Vomhof and the rest of the agitators.

“The response I get the most often is, ‘Thank you, Mr. Dumbrill, for saying what we were afraid to say, what we’ve been wanting to say but were afraid to.’

“I’m not a particularly brave person, but sometimes you don’t get to be afraid, you’re not allowed to even though your knees are shaking.”

And while he has no regrets, not being part of the judicial or legal system in some way for the first time in more than 40 years “is not a little sad, it’s a lot sad,” Dumbrill said.

Not being a municipal court judge “is going to leave a big hole.”

Effort goes on

Marquiss said that while he respects and likes Dumbrill personally, he disagrees with some of what he had to say at the council meeting, and especially the way he did it.

By turning to address the crowd instead of the council as is the practice when speaking during an official meeting, Dumbrill invited confrontation, he said.

“To get up and call a room full of people cowards and liars and that they haven’t sacrificed” was asking for a volatile reaction, Marquiss said.

“I like the guy and have a great deal of respect for him … but I will say the mayor should’ve shut him down a lot earlier than she did,” he said.

After the 45-minute recess, the meeting continued, including the regular public comment period in which about 10 people spoke out against the mayor and council.

The issues are still there and the movement to oust the local officials will continue, Marquiss said.

That includes a change.org petition he began a few weeks ago that’s up 3,248 online signatures as of Friday morning. Although not legally binding because elected officials in Wyoming can’t be recalled, Marquiss said it’s a reflection of the dissatisfaction people have for the mayor and council.

Besides, some pretty big names seem to be behind their effort. Among those who’ve signed the online petition? Jesus Christ.


Local
Man charged with multiple sex crimes
Mother is charged with promoting prostitution for setting up her daughter with him

A local man is accused of multiple counts of sexually assault and abusing two girls in Gillette over several years, and a mother has been charged with promoting prostitution for allegedly setting up her daughter to have sex with him for money.

John Bryon Mills, 44, has pleaded not guilty to five counts of first-degree sexual assault, five counts of second-degree sexual assault, one count of attempted first-degree sexual assault and six counts of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor, all felonies. He also has been charged with four counts of sexual battery and one of battery, all misdemeanors.

He also is charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of children for pornography that was found during the original investigation. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

One of the girls told sheriff’s investigators that she was sexually assaulted by Mills just about every other weekend for two years — assaults that she said were orchestrated by her mother for money, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.

She told investigators that “she did what she had to (to) make sure her brothers and sisters had food to eat and a place to say,” according to the affidavit.

The woman told her daughter that “sex was nothing, and she might as well get paid for it,” according to the affidavit.

The News Record isn’t identifying the woman to protect the identity of the alleged victim. She has been charged with three counts of promoting prostitution and one count of conspiracy to commit third-degree sexual abuse of a minor, all felonies.

She has pleaded not guilty to the four counts. A pre-trial hearing has been set for Sept. 25.

The girl told police that the first encounter was when she was in her mid-teens and her family was at a hotel. The girl told investigators that her mother said they didn’t have money to pay for the hotel and “someone needed to pay,” according to the affidavit.

Mills entered the room and the mother left. He told the girl to take off her clothes and “got right to it,” according to the affidavit. She was afraid that if she didn’t allow it, they wouldn’t have a room.

Afterward, she said her mother joked with her about it and called having sex with Mills “the bank of John Mills,” according to the affidavit.

Mills started to contact her frequently via Facebook or text, and they would meet for sex. He reportedly would pay her $200 mostly in $20 bills and she would give the money to her mother.

“(She) indicated she felt the burden for providing for her siblings because (her mother) had placed that burden on her,” according to the affidavit. “(She) believed every daughter had to go through ‘this,’ referencing getting paid for sex, to provide for the family and it was normalized by (her mother). During every sexual encounter with Mills she could lay there and think, ‘after this the bills are paid, and the kids are fed.’”

In addition to the sexual assaults, the girl described an occasion when Mills drugged her by choking her. When she felt like she was about the pass out, he let go of her throat and blew a cloud of meth smoke in her mouth, repeating the process twice more despite her protestations, according to the affidavit.

It was the same process he allegedly used on the other girl, according to the affidavit.

Sexual assaults

She described a similar instance in which Mills allegedly showed up at her home unannounced after she’d tried to avoid him for several months. He tried to get her to join him in getting high on meth. She refused and tried to run away, but he trapped her near a bathroom door.

She said that he took a hit off his meth pipe, choked her with his hands, and when he let go and she gasped for air, he blew meth smoke into her mouth. She told him to leave and he choked her again, followed by the cloud of meth, according to the affidavit.

A few months earlier, he began sending her messages and requesting to see her, which she finally agreed to do after he helped her buy a new tire. They drove around while he smoked meth, and he made threatening remarks to her about her family and what he was capable of. Instead of letting her get out of his pickup to leave when he returned to her car, he held her down by her throat and sexually assaulted her, according to the affidavit.

She told investigators that she remembered trying to fight back but was unable to overpower him and get away. She said she didn’t report it because she was worried about her safety and the safety of her family.

But he kept contacting her, threatening her by saying he had connections with the Mexican Mafia and would make her disappear, or that she would end up south of the border, addicted to drugs and a sex slave, according to the affidavit.

The alleged assaults continued to happen after the incident with the meth cloud, and the two began using meth together, according to the affidavit. While the girl said she told him she didn’t want to have sex with him, other assaults followed, the affidavit says.

Child pornography, sex abuse

At one point, Mills showed one of the girls some child pornography, which led investigators to seize his phone during his arrest. Also found were numerous CDs and DVDs at his home.

In the course of the investigation, they learned that the Internet Crimes Against Children agency had been monitoring Mills for about two years concerning manufacturing, distributing and possessing child pornography, according to an affidavit. The files that were confiscated continue to be searched.

But he was charged with having four files of child porn.

Another case of sex crimes has been filed against Mills involving a much younger child. Those charges developed after investigators quizzed others who had had contact with Mills.

Because of that child’s statements, he also has been charged with second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, conspiracy to commit second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and soliciting a minor to engage in illicit sexual relations. He has been bound over to District Court on that charge but has not yet entered a plea.