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Man to be sentenced for kidnapping, sexually assaulting girl

February 27, 2021 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man is facing sentencing after he pleaded guilty to kidnapping a 12-year-old girl from a Massachusetts park and sexually assaulting her before abandoning her in an unfamiliar neighborhood.

Joshua Besaw, 37, of Thompson, is set to be sentenced to 20 to 25 years in prison Monday in federal court in Hartford. He pleaded guilty to a kidnapping charge last year.

Federal prosecutors said Besaw enticed the girl into his car at a park in Webster, Massachusetts, on May 31, 2019, and drove her over the state line to a wooded area in Thompson, Connecticut. After he sexually assaulted her, he dropped her off in Dudley, Massachusetts, where she borrowed a stranger’s cellphone to call her parents.

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Besaw was arrested two months later, after tests showed DNA on cigarettes he discarded matched DNA evidence collected from the girl. Prosecutors said many Webster residents lived in fear until Besaw was arrested.

Besaw’s lawyer, William Paetzold, wrote in a court document that Besaw is accepting responsibility for his crimes and doesn’t oppose the lengthy prison sentence. He said Besaw “is not a lost cause” and has the ability to make positive changes in his life.

Paetzold said Besaw, a truck driver, was addicted to opiates at the time of the kidnapping, which he believes played a role in the crimes. He also said psychological testing of Besaw concluded he has a personality disorder and emotional immaturity.