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Police: DNA evidence implicates kidnapping suspect

Three more charges filed against Jesse Speer

A Montana man faces three more felony charges in connection with the October abduction and rape of an 11-year-old girl in Cody.

Jesse Speer, 40, now faces counts of first- and second-degree sexual assault for allegedly raping and sexually touching the girl, and a new count of aggravated assault for allegedly threatening her with a gun before doing so. An additional $1 million has been tacked onto Speer’s $2 million bond, meaning he must pay $3 million in cash if he wants to be released while his criminal cases are pending.

Court documents from Cody police submitted in support of the additional charges provide additional detail about the case, including how the young girl fought back against her assailant and an allegation that Speer’s DNA was found on her body.

These three “new” charges actually were filed in late November, but were confidential under a state law that protects the identity of people charged with sex crimes during early proceedings. The charges’ existence became public after a closed-door preliminary hearing on Jan. 10 in which Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters found Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric had enough evidence to press the case in District Court.

Speer has been jailed since being arrested in Belgrade, Mont., on Oct. 13 — five days after the girl’s abduction at the Park County Complex. She was found by hunters on Carter Mountain several hours after being lured to, and then forced into, a stranger’s vehicle on Oct. 8. After his arrest, Speer was charged with three other felony counts: kidnapping, aggravated assault and use of a firearm while committing a felony. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Speer is set to enter a plea to the three new counts on Feb. 14 in Cody.

He is presumed to be innocent, but if found guilty of all six charges, Speer would face maximum penalties that total life in prison plus 90 years.

An affidavit from Cody Police Sgt. Det. Jon Beck supporting the recently-unsealed charges details the girl’s account of what the kidnapper did. The man had reportedly lured the girl to him by asking for help to find a lost puppy, then pulled a gun when she balked at getting in his white SUV.

On the way out of Cody, the man reportedly struck the girl in the head with the handgun when she didn’t keep out of sight.

Police say the kidnapper ultimately took the girl to a remote area on Carter Mountain.

“The man asked (the girl) if she knew how to kiss. (The girl) said no, she did not,” wrote Beck, recounting the girl’s recollection. “The man tried to kiss (the girl) on her mouth and she resisted and started yelling. At some point (the girl) kicked him in the nose and made his nose bleed.”

“The man then placed a piece of duct tape over (the girl’s) mouth, tied her ankles together and then connected the rope from her ankles to her hands,” Beck said.

At that point, the man pointed his gun at the girl and told her she had one more chance, the affidavit says. He then reportedly raped her.

The man later said he’d let the girl go on the condition he sexually touch her one more time, the girl told police. When the man did release her in an area off the main road, she reportedly was told to count to 50 before turning around.

Hunters Shane Larsen and James Laske found the girl walking down a Carter Mountain road around 8:15 p.m. and brought her to safety.

Police identified Speer as their suspect using surveillance footage from Cody and Yellowstone National Park that they say matched him and his vehicle to the abduction route recalled by the girl.

Bozeman police have said in court documents that Speer admitted to committing the kidnapping and rape after his arrest and knew things about the crime that hadn’t been publicly released.

Beck said in his affidavit that an analysis by the Wyoming State Crime Lab concluded DNA found on the girl’s body was that of Speer’s.

1 comment

  • posted by Kay Bessey

    January 23, 2013 3:04 pm

    I think it is a crying shame that these facts about the case are made public. This is a young girl and what she had to go thru should not be out there for everyone to read. When it is a minor involved there should be some discretion as to what the media puts out there. Shame on the MEDIA

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