Thirty-three days after posting a video to Youtube, Dominic Whitham heard a knock on the door.
A little after 8:30 p.m., July 7, he was served with a notice to appear and show cause for posting the video and others like it.
Pulled from classroom cameras and acquired through Sunshine Act requests, the footage allegedly shows Whitham’s minor son “BW” being restrained by Park County School District No. 1 personnel, and Whitham says the video is evidence in his $835,000 abuse lawsuit against the District.
Scrolling underneath the footage, Whitham added subtitles alleging a variety of conspiracy and other malfeasance.
Prosecutors say Whitham’s posting of the footage was a defiance of court orders for which Whitham should be held in indirect contempt of court, punishable by 90 days in jail. The videos, prosecutors say, have bearing on juvenile case number 3599, which alleges BW “to be a neglected child,” according to the filing.
Under Wyoming State law, the content of juvenile proceedings are considered confidential and protected, and revealing their contents is illegal. Because of these confidentiality clauses, it’s unclear what the outcome of juvenile case 3599 was.
In late February 2016, BW was taken out of the Whithams’ custody for a little over a week pending that case, but in March 2016 BW was returned to their care, where he remains.
At his July 12 initial appearance over the indirect contempt charges, Whitham denied the State’s allegations.
Whitham’s attorney Bill Struemke, who is also representing him in the civil lawsuit, also moved to have the case dismissed on procedural grounds.
“While the State points to Wyoming Statute 14-3-437, it does not point to how the defendant violated an order tied to that statute,” Struemke wrote in his filing.
Furthermore, Struemke objected to the fact that there was no affidavit of probable cause attached to the indirect contempt allegations.
The State has until July 26 to respond to Struemke’s dismissal motions, and the attorney said he was hopeful the contempt proceedings will be halted before an evidentiary hearing is held.
It’s not Whitham’s first run-in with a contempt allegation. In 2016, he was also charged with contempt related to Juvenile case 3599, but those charges were ultimately dropped by prosecution.
As of Monday morning, all of Whitham’s videos were still viewable on Youtube.
If Struemke’s dismissal motions are denied, an evidentiary hearing on the contempt allegations must be held by Aug. 12.
“The State anticipates the evidentiary hearing will take approximately one hour,” the filing reads.