Nebraska Deputy Sentenced to Nine and a Half Years in Prison For Kidnapping and Assaulting Woman

McCOOK, Neb. — Former Dundy County deputy Charles Thibedeau, 37, was sentenced to prison time for kidnapping and assaulting a Benkelman woman in his police vehicle.

On Monday, District Court Judge David Urbom sentenced Thibedeau to 6 to 8 years for kidnapping, one year for the third-degree sexual assault and six months for oppression under the color of office, for a total of nine and half years. A Dundy County jury had found Thibedeau guilty on Jan. 18.

According to a news release by Attorney General Doug Peterson on Jan. 19, 2018, on March 22, 2017, while on duty as a Deputy County Sheriff for Dundy County, Charles Thibedeau sent Facebook messages to the victim, age 26, requesting that she meet him in a remote location to discuss a law enforcement matter. When the victim arrived at the designated location, she was accompanied by a minor child. Thibedeau lied to the victim about an imminent search of her residence by local law enforcement. Shortly thereafter, Thibedeau asked the victim to show him her breasts. Thibedeau then demanded to touch her breasts. Thibedeau threatened to take her to jail on a fictitious warrant when she refused to consent. The victim again refused Thibedeau’s request despite his threats of incarceration. Thibedeau subsequently handcuffed the victim, placed her in his patrol vehicle, and touched her bare breasts. He then began to drive off to another location, but stopped and released the victim. Prior to this incident, Thibedeau had only been employed by the Dundy County Sheriff’s Office for approximately five and a half months. He had not been formally certified at the time because he had yet to attend the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Academy in Grand Island.

At Monday’s sentencing, Judge David Urbom listened to both attorney’s suggestions for sentencing, with Thibedeau’s attorney asking the judge to consider probation but the prosecutor wanted a prison sentence.

A family member of Thibedeau spoke in defense of him, asking the judge to consider his previous history of good behavior.

But Judge Urbom said someone in Thibedeau’s position cannot abuse their power and his sentencing has to deter others from doing so.