Nearly three years after charges were filed, Kenneth “Val” Geissler’s solicitation of prostitution case is nearly complete, with a not guilty by reason of mental illness plea read to Judge Bill Simpson’s Park County District Court on Wednesday morning. Simpson still hasn’t formally approved the stipulation.
Geissler, 81, would avoid jail time, would receive outpatient mental therapy for the rest of his life and visit with his attorney monthly. He would not be allowed to be alone around minor females unless another adult is present. Geissler would meet with a counselor once per month to determine if his dementia is progressing.
He would have to advise his attorney whenever he is leaving the State of Wyoming.
For more than a year, the defense and the prosecution had been disputing the issue of Geissler’s mental state at the time he allegedly solicited prostitution and engaged in unlawful contact without bodily injury with a female minor.
As part of his plea, Geissler would still abide by the set of stipulations agreed upon by his attorney and state with Simpson’s approval.
Tim Blatt, Geissler’s defense attorney, took input from two different medical experts as to their recommended treatment for Geissler, who was found with white matter on the frontal lobe portion of his brain during medical examinations, possibly caused by his age and/or previous concussions.
Blatt said Geissler’s condition could lead to “delusional” thinking. It was the state’s demand, not the medical experts’, that Geissler have no unsupervised contact with minor females.
Geissler was well known locally as “Uncle Val” and regularly sang at Cassie’s Supper Club and appeared in the 2015 documentary “Unbranded.”
The Cody man is accused of attempting to coerce a minor into prostitution in exchange for payments on a vehicle. The minor said she started receiving letters after she was loaned a $4,000 car by Geissler in July 2018, with $200 monthly payments. She said he attempted to negotiate sex with her in exchange for payments on the vehicle. The affidavit went on to say Geissler hand-delivered the letters to the minor and promised her millions of dollars in his will if she became a prostitute.
The case had a number of detours since its original filing in September 2018. In early 2019, Geissler broke a condition of his probation when he was seen attending the Cody Cowboy Church on two different occasions with a 16-year-old female.
A bench trial had been planned for the case for a period of time at the request of the victim. Simpson had originally rejected this request, but then relented. Shortly after, the defense and prosecution came to an agreement about the mental illness plea.