A former Metropolitan Police Department officer convicted of sexually abusing a child for over a decade was sentenced Wednesday to 25 consecutive life terms in prison.
In February, 39-year-old Bret Theil was found guilty of 28 counts, including sexual assault, lewdness with a child, child abuse and kidnapping. In addition to the 25 life sentences, the judge imposed three to nine years behind bars for lesser counts.
District Judge Stefany Miley left open the possibility for parole but noted that Theil wouldn’t be eligible until 2412, when he would be 393 years old. He was relieved of duty without pay after his indictment.
His attorney, Craig Mueller, maintains that the trial was not properly conducted. He compared the proceedings to the Salem witch trials and called the victim a “disturbed young woman.”
“At any time any man can be accused by any woman and at the very least he loses his life, his freedom and his reputation,” Mueller said, adding that he already had drafted an appeal in the case.
Theil was accused of sexually abusing the woman, now 21, when she was ages 8-19. She said that during the first sexual assault, Theil brought her to a friend’s house and took her into a downstairs bathroom. In subsequent assaults, she said, he tied her to a bench, blindfolded her and hit her with a whip.
“I cannot fathom how someone can look at an innocent child and do what was done to me,” she said. “The very same skin that was violated so many times I have to live in for the rest of my life.”
The victim said she still suffers from nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder after the decade of abuse, but she’s seeing a therapist and is trying to move on.
“One thing that pains me is that there are still people who don’t believe me despite the verdict,” the victim said. “This is the truth, and if anyone wants to be blind to that truth, that’s their choice.”
Theil denied the allegations when he testified during the trial, saying he had no idea why the woman would accuse him of sexual abuse.
He repeated his denial when addressing the judge before his sentence was read.
“Your honor, this did not happen,” he said.
Theil and his family remained stoic as Miley imposed the sentence.
He has been in custody since his Feb. 14 conviction because Miley determined he was a flight risk.