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Montana man held in girl’s abduction, assault

CODY, Wyo. — A Montana man faces charges of kidnapping and assaulting an 11-year-old girl in Wyoming after police said he lured her into his car by saying he needed help finding a missing puppy, court records obtained Monday state.

Jesse Paul Speer, 39, was taken into custody Saturday in Belgrade, Mont., and held for Wyoming authorities. He faces extradition on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault, and felony use of a weapon, the records state.

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Speer’s bond was set at $2 million.

Speer approached the victim and other children in Cody on Oct. 8, police Detective Jonathan Beck wrote in a statement. When the girl refused to get in his vehicle, Speer pulled a pistol on her and motioned her into his SUV.

Beck wrote that Speer drove the girl to a church parking lot and tied her hands behind her back. He told her to keep down as he drove through town, hitting her once on the head with the gun when she tried to raise it.

‘‘The victim told the suspect that she knew that he was going to rape her, and the suspect responded that she wasn’t going to get hurt,’’ Cody Police Chief Perry Rockvam told reporters Monday.

Speer then drove the girl to a mountainous area outside of Cody, where he assaulted her, Beck said in the statement.

Rockvam said the man then put a cloth bag over the girl’s head and released her. Passing elk hunters found the girl, dressed lightly in the mountainous area, and took her to safety, he said.

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