3 felony charges added in Cody abduction case

2013-01-11T16:10:00Z 2014-08-25T23:49:22Z 3 felony charges added in Cody abduction caseGazette Staff The Billings Gazette

A Montana man charged with kidnapping and assaulting an 11-year-old girl from Wyoming was bound over to District Court on Thursday on three additional felony charges.

According to a news release from Park County, Wyo., Jesse Paul Speer, 40, was charged after a preliminary hearing in Circuit Court, Fifth Judicial District, with aggravated assault, sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree and sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree.

If convicted, Speer faces a lifetime behind bars. He has been held at the Park County jail in Cody on a $2 million bond since his arrest in mid-October.

Aggravated assault carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in in prison. First-degree sexual abuse of a minor carries a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison. Second-degree sexual abuse of a minor carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Speers was initially charged in October with kidnapping, aggravated assault and using a gun in the commission of a felony. On Dec. 21, Speer pleaded not guilty to all three felony charges before District Court Judge Steven Cranfill in the Park County Courthouse.

The kidnapping count carries a penalty of 20 years to life. The other two counts have maximum sentences of 10 years in prison. No trial date was set.

Speer was arrested in Belgrade, Mont., near his home in Manhattan, nearly a week after the girl got into a vehicle on Oct. 8 with a man who had asked her for help in finding a lost dog, according to charging documents. After being driven outside Cody, the girl was sexually assaulted and then released. Hunters later found the girl and took her to safety.

No court date has yet been set for Speer's District Court arraignment.

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