Dundy County deputy charged with kidnapping

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Charles Thibedeau

BENKELMAN, Neb. ó A Dundy County sheriffís deputy has been charged with kidnapping in an ongoing investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol and a special prosecutor appointed by the Nebraska Attorney Generalís office.

Dep. Charles Thibedeau of Benkelman, 37 years old, is in custody in the Yuma County, Colo., jail, following his arrest in Benkelman late Wednesday, March 22.

According to Nebraska State Patrol Investigator Jeff Van Steltonís affidavit of probable cause filed in Dundy County Court on March 23, Thibedeau waived his Miranda rights and admitted verbally and in a written confession to falsely arresting and detaining a woman while he was on duty and insisting on seeing and touching her breasts.

According to the affidavit, Thibedeau arranged a meeting with the woman under the false pretense of providing her with information that indicated her home was the subject of a drug raid. When the woman refused to let Thibedeau touch her breasts in exchange for the information, he allegedly placed her under arrest on an outstanding warrant, handcuffed her, put her in the backseat of his patrol unit and began to drive away from the scene.

The investigator indicates that the woman begged Thibedeau not to leave the scene with her friendís child in the backseat of her own car.

The investigator indicates in his report that Thibedeau stopped the patrol unit, allegedly forcibly touched her breasts, removed the handcuffs and then allowed the woman to leave.

A complaint filed Monday by the Attorney Generalís office and special prosecutor George C. Welch indicates that Thibedeau is charged with felony kidnapping, and is alleged to have abducted and restrained a 26-year-old (or 27-year-old) female on Wednesday, March 22, in Dundy County. The count states that Thibedeau continued to hold and/or terrorize the woman or a third person.

Thibedeau faces charges of Class II felony kidnapping, punishable by up to 50 years in prison. Thibedeau has been an officer for Dundy County for about a year.

Dundy County attorney Gary Burke said Monday afternoon that his office is cooperating with the investigation by the State Patrol and Attorney Generalís office.

Thibedeau was originally charged with kidnapping, official misconduct, child abuse, false imprisonment and sexual assault.

Thibedeauís arraignment will be Wednesday, April 5, at 9 a.m. MT in Dundy County court in Benkelman.

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