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Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Joshua Besaw Kidnapping/Rape Case

     On May 31, 2019, 30-year-old Joshua Besaw from Thompson, Connecticut, a small town in the northwest corner of the state, was in Webster, Massachusetts where, in a park, he encountered a 12-year-old girl. Calling himself "Chuck," Besaw enticed the girl to get into his car and drove back to Thompson, Connecticut where, in a wooded area, he raped her. After the sexual assault, Besaw and the victim returned to Thompson where he dropped her off in an unfamiliar neighborhood. The rapist left in possession of his victim's cellphone.

     Shortly after the rapist drove away, the victim borrowed a stranger's phone and called her parents who took her directly to the Thompson Police Department. Later that day, personnel at a medical facility conducted a sexual examination and collected biological evidence of the assault.

     A review by law enforcement officers of numerous surveillance videos from sites in Webster, Massachusetts and Thompson, Connecticut quickly led to the identification of Joshua Besaw as the kidnapper/rapist.

     While under local police and FBI surveillance, Besaw discarded cigarette butts that were gathered by his followers for DNA analysis. Traces of the suspect's saliva on the collected cigarette butts matched semen specimens taken from the rape victim. DNA science had positively identified Joshua Besaw as the man who had raped this 12-year-old girl.

     On July 17, 2019, local police officers and FBI agents took Besaw into custody at his place of residence in Thompson, Connecticut. An Assistant United States Attorney in Connecticut charged Besaw with kidnapping, and transporting a victim across state lines with the purpose of sexual assault.

     On March 13, 2020, Joshua Besaw, confronted with the DNA evidence connecting him to the rape, pleaded guilty before a federal judge. At his upcoming June 15, 2020 sentencing hearing, Besaw faced a mandatory federal sentence of twenty years in prison. He could, however, be sentenced to life.

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