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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 7, 2022

Ford County Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Kidnapping

URBANA, Ill. – A Roberts, Illinois, man, Paul Theesfield, 37, of the 200 block of Maple Avenue, pleaded guilty on July 6, 2022, to attempted kidnapping. Sentencing for Theesfield has been scheduled on November 14, 2022, at the U.S. Courthouse in Urbana, Illinois

In court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric I. Long, Theesfield admitted that he had attempted to kidnap a woman in Gibson City, Illinois, on December 5, 2020. During the hearing, the government stated that around 2:30 p.m. that day, Theesfield drove his red SUV past the woman multiple times while she was walking near Wood Street and 12th Street. Theesfield then used the SUV to strike the woman from behind in an attempt to incapacitate her, put her in his SUV, and drive her out of town to sexually assault her. After striking her, Theesfield got out of the SUV and approached the woman, who recognized him and screamed. Theesfield then fled the scene and returned to his Roberts residence, where he and his red SUV were later found by a Ford County Deputy. After initially telling authorities he accidentally struck the woman, Theesfield admitted his kidnapping plan and was arrested. The Ford County Sheriff later seized handcuffs, wire rope chokers, zip ties, duct tape, an electric cattle prod, and other items from the Roberts Water House, where Theesfield was employed.

Theesfield remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing.

Theesfield faces statutory penalties of a maximum twenty-year term of imprisonment, a maximum $250,000 fine, and a maximum three-year term of supervised release.

The case investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ford County Sheriff’s Office, and Gibson City Police Department. Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller is representing the government in the prosecution.

Updated July 7, 2022