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Trial begins for Las Vegas officer accused of sexual abuse

Updated January 31, 2019 - 8:31 pm

Lawyers presented opening statements Thursday in a criminal trial against a Metropolitan Police Department officer accused of sexually abusing a child over the course of a decade.

Clark County prosecutor Stacey Kollins said 39-year-old Bret Theil abused the victim, who is now an adult, from age 8 to 19. Theil kept the victim from speaking out by threatening her younger sibling, Kollins said.

She said the first instance of sexual assault occurred inside a bathroom at Theil’s friend’s house in 2005. She detailed more than 10 years of sexual and physical abuse, including sexual assaults that continued after the victim reached adulthood.

Kollins also said Theil used law enforcement resources to track down the victim after she went missing.

Grand jury transcripts released last year said that Theil hired a lawyer and a private investigator to locate the victim and never filed a missing persons report.

Craig Mueller, Theil’s defense attorney, characterized the victim as a young woman who was terrified of confrontation and who was coerced into making allegations against Theil.

“The truth takes few words: This didn’t happen,” Mueller said.

Mueller said detectives didn’t properly investigate the victim’s allegations of abuse, which he said were “pure fantasy and fabrication.”

In February, Theil had an hourslong standoff with police after his grand jury indictment. Police were called to Corn Creek, an area northwest of Las Vegas, for reports of a suicidal man barricaded in a vehicle. Theil faces one count of resisting a public officer in connection with the standoff.

Mueller said Theil drove to Corn Creek to clear his head after the indictment and never resisted officers.

Theil also faces six counts of kidnapping, five counts of lewdness with a child under 14, six counts of sexual assault with a child under 14, four counts of sexual assault with a child under 16, four counts of sexual assault and two counts of child abuse, neglect or endangerment.

Theil, who worked in Metro’s traffic division, has been suspended and is under house arrest.

The trial continues Friday before District Judge Stefany Miley.

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

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