Before Metropolitan Police Department Detective Bret Theil was indicted on sexual assault and kidnapping charges, he used his position of authority in an urgent effort to track down the missing victim, according to newly released grand jury transcripts.
The now-suspended detective hired a lawyer and a private investigator in early January 2017, and the transcripts indicate he enlisted the help of others in law enforcement to access a database that could help him find the victim before she talked to North Las Vegas police.
But Theil, who worked in the traffic division, never filed a missing persons report, and the private investigator found her before North Las Vegas detectives did.
An intelligence database known as SCOPE, which contains personal and address information, was accessed to search for the victim from either Metro headquarters or a substation and an office at the College of Southern Nevada, according to testimony from Carey McCloud, a North Las Vegas detective.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Stacy Kollins asked, “Do you know whether law enforcement was involved in looking for her?”
McCloud replied, “Just his friends, from what I understand.”
Transcripts from a four-month grand jury investigation revealed details about the years of sexual abuse the girl suffered, from age 8 until she was 19.
Defense attorney Craig Mueller declined to comment on the grand jury testimony. He said he did not have enough knowledge about the allegations and had not reviewed the transcripts.
Theil, 38, was indicted this month on six counts of first-degree kidnapping; five counts of lewdness with a child under 14; six counts of sexual assault with a minor under 14; four counts of sexual assault with a minor under 16; four counts of sexual assault; and two counts of child abuse, neglect or endangerment.
Questioned by North Las Vegas detectives, Theil called the victim “unstable” yet “truthful,” McCloud testified.
The victim testified that in one of the most recent attacks, Theil used police-issued handcuffs to secure her to a bunk bed ladder for about an hour as he scolded her.
Before forcing her to perform sex acts on him, according to the testimony, he often used his position of authority as intimidation. An officer with Metro since August 1998, Theil would remove his police uniform and degrade the victim, sometimes erupting into fits of rage, she said.
Because of his job, his respect among neighbors and the cache of weapons she knew he kept, she was afraid to tell anyone about the ongoing abuse, she said.
“I felt drained,” she testified. “I felt fearful of what would happen if I told anyone, and I didn’t know if they would believe me.”
The first of more than 50 forced sexual encounters, including 10 after she turned 18, occurred inside the bathroom of his friend’s home, she testified.
In another incident, Theil allegedly struck the girl in the mouth, causing her to bleed.
At one point, he used a slick red plastic rope to tie her hands to the underside of a sit-up bench, she said.
Theil often would watch pornography on his cellphone or laptop while abusing her, according to the victim’s testimony, sometimes dragging her by the hair into submission.
“If I fought back with him,” she said, “I’m afraid he would probably knock me out.”