CASPER, Wyo. — A man accused of luring a 5-year-old boy away from a Casper bowling alley and sexually assaulting the child has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness in the case.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/2d3kAQ3 ) Joshua Winters entered the plea Tuesday to kidnapping and first- and second-degree sexual abuse of a minor. A judge ordered him to undergo a mental evaluation at the Wyoming State Hospital.

Authorities say Winters worked as a food vendor at a carnival that was at the Central Wyoming Fair on July 18 when he approached the child and offered him money to pay for games.

Court documents say the boy eventually followed Winters outside, where the alleged sexual assault occurred near a river.

The documents say Winters denied the kidnapping and told police the boy could’ve “gone the other way at any time.”


Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com