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Police & Fire

Cigarette Butts Lead Police To CT Man Who Kidnapped 12-Year-Old MA Girl From Park

Joshua Besaw
Joshua Besaw Photo Credit: Charlton PD

New details about a kidnapping and sexual assault reveal it was the sexual predator’s nicotine addiction that eventually gave him away to the police.

Joshua Besaw, 37, of Thompson, in Windham County, Connecticut, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday, March 1, followed by 20 years of supervised release for kidnapping and sexual assault.

The assault happened in 2019 when, according to court documents, Besaw encountered a girl at May Street Park in Webster, Massachusetts, and tricked her into entering his vehicle, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Connecticut, said.

Calling himself “Chuck,” Besaw drove the girl to a wooded area in Thompson, where he sexually assaulted her. After the attack, Besaw stole the girl’s cellphone, drove her back to Massachusetts, and released her in an unfamiliar neighborhood.

The girl borrowed a stranger’s phone to call her parents, who picked her up and reported the incident to the police.

Webster and Connecticut State police conducted an extensive investigation that included surveillance video collected from various residencies. When they went back to one of the scenes of the crime, police collected discarded cigarette butts that matched DNA evidence collected from the minor victim following the attack on May 31, 2019.

Besaw was arrested July 17, 2019, and pleaded guilty to charges on March 13, 2020.

After serving his prison sentence, upon release Besaw will be required to wear an ankle monitor, and have monitoring software installed on all devices that have the internet, Charlton Police said.

Webster's Chief of Police commended his officers and the victim’s bravery.

“To say that I am proud of all the officers that partic[ated in this case would be an understatement,” the chief said in a statement. “I am more proud and in awe of the victim in this case. Her bravery and strength leave me speechless. She was such an integral part of bringing Besaw to justice, we would not have been able to do it without her.”

Among the agencies that worked on Besaw’s investigation, arrest, and prosecution are Webster Police, Connecticut State Police, FBI, Massachusetts State Police, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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