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Colorado Springs arrest man suspected of abducting girl

A local story made national headlines the other day after police said a nine-year-old girl reported to Colorado Springs police that she'd been abducted.

A 29-year-old man was arrested for kidnapping and sexual assault soon after police received the girl's call from a convenience store.

She told police she'd escaped her abductor after 18 hours.

The girl said she was kidnapped last Thursday while walking home from school in Pueblo, Colorado.

Police said that on Friday, a vehicle driven by the man had mechanical problems in Colorado Springs, forcing him to pull over. A passing motorist apparently gave the man and girl a ride to the store.

Police say she then ran inside the store, asked the store clerk for a phone and called 911.

Law enforcement officials say the man ran from the store after spotting the girl on the phone. They claim they found the same man at a bus station a short while later.

He was arrested for sexual assault, second-degree kidnapping and a probation violation, a spokesperson for the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office told reporters.

However, a Pueblo police captain refused to say whether the alleged sexual offense was related to the case involving the girl.

This is the kind of case often quickly tried in the court of public opinion. Invariably, the accused is found guilty by the media and public.

We should be glad our criminal justice system takes a more careful, deliberate approach that involves a presumption of innocence, the right to face accusers, the right to examine evidence and other rights that serve to protect all of us.

Source: Chicago Tribune: "Abducted Colorado girl, 9, escapes captor by calling police," Keith Coffman, Jan. 21, 2012

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