DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver jury has found a man guilty of kidnapping a girl two years ago and assaulting her before letting her go.
Jurors agreed Monday morning that Bret Thompson is guilty of second degree kidnapping and sex assault of a child. Thompson had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the 2011 crime.
The victim, who is now 10, testified at the trial last week and told what happened to her on June 2, 2011. She kept her composure through her lengthy testimony but broke down when she was asked to point out Thompson in the courtroom and did so.
“This was a hard case to hear and deliberate on, and our little victim, we’d like to thank her. Her strength was well beyond her age,” Deputy District Attorney Allison Rocker said.
Thompson’s defense claimed he had a mental illness, dissociative identity disorder, from sex abuse he suffered when he was a child by his prostitute mother, her boyfriend and male customers. But psychiatrists who testified said they did not believe Thompson was insane at the time of the crime.
Thompson now faces a sentence that could be as harsh as life in prison. He’ll be sentenced on May 30 and will be held with no bond until then.
During her testimony the victim said she was walking with a friend on South Raleigh Street when a man driving a white van drove up to them near an alley.
She said the man asked if they would help him throw a box into a dumpster. The girl agreed to help, and that’s when the man lifted her up so she could toss the box away. She said he then put her in the back of his van and “drove far.”
The girl testified she was scared when she was in the car and asked the man to “pinky promise he wouldn’t hurt her.” The man promised but eventually drove her to his home in Aurora where the girl said he made her undress then “pushed his man parts on my private parts.”
The incident ended when the girl, who was 9 at the time, was found at a gas station on Federal Boulevard approximately 90 minutes after she was reported missing. After a nationwide manhunt, police found Thompson sleeping in his van in New Jersey and arrested him.
“Her family doesn’t have to worry about him being out on the streets. Our community doesn’t have to worry about that and we’ll leave it in the judge’s hands to decide what is best,” Rocker said.
Thompson’s foster mother pleaded guilty to perjury in the case. Prosecutors accused Sylvia Luckett of lying to police to help Thompson flee as police investigated him in connection with the assault.