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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

Friday, March 13, 2020

Thompson Man Faces at Least 20 Years in Prison for Kidnapping and Sexually Assaulting Massachusetts Girl

John Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOSHUA BESAW, 36, of Thompson, Connecticut, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl last year.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on May 31, 2019, Besaw encountered a 12-year-old girl (“minor victim”) at a park in Webster, Massachusetts, and tricked the minor victim into entering his vehicle.  Besaw, who identified himself as “Chuck,” then drove the minor victim to a wooded area in Thompson, Connecticut, where he sexually assaulted her.  After the assault, Besaw drove the minor victim back to Massachusetts, where he released her in a neighborhood that was unfamiliar to her and refused to return her cellphone.  The minor victim then borrowed a phone from a stranger to contact her parents who picked her up and brought her to the police station to report the incident.  Later that day, a sexual assault examination of the victim was conducted at a medical facility.

Besaw was identified as a suspect after an extensive investigation led by Webster Police with support from the Connecticut State Police, which included analysis of surveillance video collected from numerous residences and businesses in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

On July 10, 2019, investigators conducting surveillance of Besaw collected cigarette butts that Besaw had discarded.  The DNA evidence collected from the discarded cigarette butts matched DNA evidence collected from the minor victim on May 31, 2019.

Besaw was arrested on July 17, 2019.

Judge Shea scheduled sentencing for June 15, 2020, at which time Besaw faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.  Besaw has been detained since his arrest.

This matter has been investigated by the Webster Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy V. Gifford.

Project Safe Childhood
Violent Crime
Updated March 13, 2020