AP NEWS

Suspect accused of kidnapping woman, son arraigned

February 22, 2019
FILE - This undated identification file photo released Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, by the Vermont State Police shows Everett Simpson. Simpson is due in federal court Friday, Feb. 22, 2019,in Burlington, Vt., on charges he abducted a woman and her child outside the Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester, N.H., then drove them to Vermont. (Vermont State Police via AP, File)

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont man who prosecutors said abducted a woman and her 5-year-old son outside a New Hampshire mall and later sexually assaulted the woman in Vermont was arraigned Friday on federal kidnapping charges.

Everett Simpson, 41, was charged with kidnapping and interstate transfer of a stolen vehicle. He did not attend the arraignment. A judge entered not guilty pleas. His public defender, David McColgin, had no comment after the proceeding.

Prosecutors say Simpson left a Bradford drug abuse treatment center Jan. 4 and traveled to Manchester, New Hampshire, where he pushed a woman and her child into their car outside the Mall of New Hampshire. He then allegedly drove to White River Junction, Vermont, where the woman told police that he sexually assaulted her in a hotel room in front of her son and then left.

The woman told police that Simpson said he had learned that his wife was cheating on him and he wanted to find her so he could hurt her.

Afterward, prosecutors say Simpson fled to Pennsylvania. He was apprehended after he crashed a stolen car while fleeing police, authorities said. He’s being held without bail.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Lasher told the judge Friday that evidence-gathering and analysis of DNA and fingerprints would take a while. More than 15 agencies are providing information on this case, he said. McColgin agreed that the discovery would be “voluminous.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Conroy set a deadline of May 23 for any motions to be filed.