POWELL — A Montana man charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl from Cody, confessed to the crime, according to a search warrant affidavit.
Jesse P. Speer is being held on a $2 million bond on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault and using a gun in the commission of a felony. He hasn’t entered a plea.
Speer was arrested in Belgrade, Mont., a town near his home in Manhattan, Mont., almost a week after the girl was lured to a vehicle Oct. 8 with a request for help finding a lost dog, authorities have said. The girl was driven outside of Cody, was sexually assaulted and then released. Hunters found the girl and took her to safety.
The Powell Tribune reports that in a search warrant affidavit, a Gallatin County sheriff’s investigator wrote that after the arrest, Speer gave an account of the crime that matched details the girl had given, including that she was shown a gun during the abduction. Some details hadn’t been made public at the time.
“Speer provided information to investigators regarding the incident that only the perpetrator of the crime could know, for example, that a bag had been placed over the victim’s head, that the suspect had driven around and around for a period of time, the nature of how the girl was released, etc.,” wrote Detective Thomas Pallach, who didn’t participate in the interviews but was briefed by Bozeman police.
“As Speer recounted these events he indicated he did not know why he had done this, was remorseful, and cried,” wrote Pallach.
Speer also said he had a pornography addiction, which a relative had also told the FBI, Pallach said.
Authorities said Speer, a nature photographer who previously lived in Colorado with his former wife, told investigators he had been shooting photos in the Cody area around the time of the abduction.
The affidavit indicated his two children were taken into protective custody after his arrest.
A preliminary hearing at which a judge will determine if there’s enough evidence for the case to proceed is set for Nov. 19.
A business phone number for attorney Travis Smith, who was appointed to represent Speer, rang unanswered after business hours Thursday.