DENVER - Prosecutors say a 10-year-old Denver girl, who was kidnapped while playing in an alley on June 2, 2011, said she asked her kidnapper to pinky promise that he wouldn't hurt her.
The girl maintained her composure while being questioned by prosecutors in the trial of Bret Luckett Thompson. Only when she was asked if the man who kidnapped her was in court did she begin to cry as she pointed to a man wearing a white shirt.
In opening statements, prosecutor Allison Rocker told jurors that Thompson knowingly kidnapped and sexually assaulted the girl, who was 8 years old at the time.
The girl testified that she and a boy were walking his pet Chihuahua in an alley near West Virginia Avenue and South Raleigh Street when a white van pulled up behind them.
She said a man got out and asked them to help him lift a cardboard box into the dumpster.
The girl agreed to help him. She said the man lifted her up so she could place the box in the dumpster, then put her in his van and drove off.
The girl’s friend testified that he ran to his grandmother’s house to tell her that a man took the girl.
The victim told jurors that Thompson made her get on the floor of his van while he drove across town. “He put a jacket on me,” she said, “and asked if I had a favorite (radio) station.”
She said she saw a garage door open, and then heard a female voice.
“He told the woman to stay out (of the garage) because he was working on something,” the victim said.
In a taped interview with a children’s advocate played in court, the girl said she told the van driver she was scared. “He said, ‘Calm down, calm down. I’m not going to hurt you,’” she recalled.
Prosecutors say he then proceeded to sexually assault the 8 year old.
"He took out his man part and put it in on my private part," the girl testified, and then she started crying.
She said after the assault, the man told her to put her clothes back on.
He then drove her back to west Denver and dropped her off at a gas station.
“I went inside and said to help me because I just got kidnapped,” she said.
The clerk called the girl’s mom, then called police.
After the attack, Thompson drove back to his Aurora home, and the next day packed a bag and took off to New Jersey, Authorities say.
FBI agents arrested him 11 days later on charges of kidnapping and felony sexual assault on a child.
Later Tuesday in court, witness Laurel VanderMuelen of the Denver Children's Advocacy Center played an interview she conducted with the victim.
On the recording, the victim said she told the suspect not to do what he was doing, because "the police can get you and put you in jail."
"I told him to please let me go," the girl is heard saying on the recording.
As the kidnapper drove the girl farther and farther away from safety, the prosecutor said the little girl asked her kidnapper to pinky promise that he wouldn't hurt her.
The victim's mother took the stand Tuesday afternoon.
The mother said that when she got to the hospital, she noticed her daughter didn't want to look at her.
"She was very nervous and afraid," the mother testified. "I told her she had to tell the truth."
Crying on the stand, the mother said her daughter told her what happened and asked her not to tell anyone.
The mother said she told her daughter that she had to.
Defense attorneys admitted during opening statements that Thompson sexually assaulted the girl.
"It was inexplicable behavior," said defense attorney Natalie Frei, who went on to explain that Thompson suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder.
“It was formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder,” Frei said.
Frei said Bret Thompson was born in 1984 with his mother in federal prison.
“His father was also in federal prison for a time,” she said.
Frei said they asked Sylvia Luckett, then 40 years old, if she’d take care of Bret and the woman agreed.
Frei said that when Bret was 3 or 4, his father died, and that Mrs. Luckett’s daughter was later killed in a crash.
“They were dealing with loss, disruption and sorrow,” she said.
When Bret’s mom got out of prison, she asked for him back. Frei said his birth mother turned tricks (as a prostitute) and that some of her customers sexually abused Bret.
In 2010, Bret came to live with Sylvia Lockett again, the defense attorney said.
“He was moody and depressed and continued to have fits of rage,” Frei said. “He spent a lot of time in the basement and talked of suicide.”
Frei said, “Thompson is not guilty by reason of insanity.”
Jurors also heard from Robert Pagel, Sylvia Luckett’s brother.
He said that after Bret took off for New Jersey, he and Sylvia saw a news story about the crime that had been committed.
“They said it was a white van and that the man had two tattoos,” Pagel said. “The (police sketch) looked vaguely familiar.”
Pagel said he and Sylvia called Crime Stoppers.
Forensic specialists from the Denver Police Department told jurors that they took swab samples from the victim and that they tested positive for saliva but no semen.
Defense attorneys say they anticipate calling witnesses for Bret Thompson on Wednesday.
The trial resumes at 8:30 a.m.