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Closing arguments in sexual assault trial of Las Vegas officer

Updated February 12, 2019 - 8:35 pm

Lawyers made closing arguments Tuesday in the trial of a Las Vegas police officer accused of sexually abusing a child for a decade.

Prosecutor Stacey Kollins said the woman, now 21, was assaulted at least 50 times from ages 8 to 19. During the trial, she was asked by Kollins to provide details on one alleged assault for each year.

“Our memory is not reel by reel,” Kollins said. “She is not starting a movie that started at 8 years old all the way to 19 and hitting play. You’re not getting what’s in between.”

She argued that the woman was a victim of “protracted abuse” and wasn’t in a position to tell anyone about the allegations until she reached adulthood.

The Metropolitan Police Department officer, Bret Theil, 39, faces 28 counts of kidnapping, sexual assault, lewdness with a child and child abuse.

Last week, the woman testified that Theil threatened her younger sibling to keep her quiet.

Kollins said there was no evidence of revenge, deflection or mental illness in the woman’s testimony and accusations. She said the woman had nothing to gain by disclosing the alleged abuse.

“There’s no pot of gold at the end of the sexual assault rainbow,” Kollins said.

Theil’s defense attorney, Craig Mueller, called the allegations false.

“This is complete fraud,” he said, holding up a stack of notebook pages detailing the allegations.

Mueller said the woman made up the allegations to deflect attention from something she had done, saying she was “demonstrably mentally unstable.”

He said this was evident in her demeanor during her testimony and inconsistencies that appeared in some of the allegations as the woman told and retold the stories to jurors and investigators.

“Do we have an emotionally disturbed young woman here, or do we have ongoing sexual abuse that’s too hard to believe?” Mueller said.

Theil denied the allegations and testified Friday that he didn’t know why the woman would make the claims against him.

Mueller characterized the woman as a person who was terrified of confrontation and became trapped in a lie that went out of control.

“Liars are liars. They have patterns,” he said. “There is not a scintilla of evidence in this case.”

Mueller briefly wore a headband with red horns on it in reference to a detective who had called him “Satan’s helper” in a police document. He also referenced “Titanic” and “Romeo and Juliet” in his closing arguments.

At the end of his argument, Mueller showed jurors a form on an overhead projector and checked off “Not Guilty” next to each charge.

In rebuttal, Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo said there was “evidence of guilt” in Theil’s refusal to file a missing-persons report after the woman went missing and in his standoff with police last February after his indictment.

Theil faces one count of resisting a public officer with a firearm in connection with the standoff.

Kollins said Theil intentionally tried to make sure the woman wasn’t found.

“He made a conscious effort to conceal (her). He didn’t want this to get out,” she said.

A verdict is expected Wednesday.

Theil has been suspended from the police department, pending the result of the trial.

Contact Max Michor at mmichor@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0365. Follow @MaxMichor on Twitter.

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