BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A Connecticut man who court documents say tried to enter Canada with a 16-year-old girl he allegedly abducted in their home state has been charged with kidnapping.
A complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Burlington on Friday says the 19-year-old man was apprehended by U.S. border agents at the Highgate Springs port of entry on Thursday after he and the girl were refused entry to Canada.
The complaint says the girl told border agents she met the suspect willingly on Wednesday, but he forcibly sexually assaulted her and then held her against her will.
Court documents say that on Wednesday night the girls said she was tied up with a shoelace and put into the trunk of the car they were riding in.
As they approached the border the girl was moved to the front seat and the suspect told her to “act normal” and “go along with the story.”
Separately, the Vermont State Police said the girl felt there might have been a witness when she was taken from the trunk of the car and placed in the back seat at a convenience store off Interstate 89 in Colchester. A surveillance camera recorded a photo of the suspect at the convenience store at about 3:40 a.m. Thursday.
They were returned to the United States by Canadian officials because they did not have valid COVID-19 tests.
The girl’s parents had reported her missing and border agents said they found evidence in the car consistent with the girl’s version of events.
The suspect is being held in a Vermont prison.
Court documents did not list an attorney for the suspect, but an email sent to the federal public defender in Vermont was not immediately returned.