Judge orders kidnap, assault suspect to remain in custody

FILE - This undated identification file photo released Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, by the Vermont State Police shows Everett Simpson. On Tuesday, Feb. 12, Simpson is due in federal court 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) — The Vermont man charged with kidnapping a woman and her 5-year-old son in New Hampshire and later sexually assaulting the woman in Vermont must stay in custody, a federal court magistrate ruled Tuesday.

Everett Simpson, wearing a red prison jumpsuit, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Conroy who agreed with prosecutors who argued there was no way to protect the public and guarantee Simpson would appear for future court appearances if he were released.

"This is an exceedingly serious case," Conroy said.

If convicted, Simpson, 41, who has a criminal history dating to 1995, could be sentenced to life in prison.

During the 10-minute hearing Simpson answered Conroy's questions, but Simpson did not address the underlying charges he is facing. Simpson's attorney David McColgin, who had asked that Simpson be released due to his strong ties to the community, declined comment after the hearing.

Simpson is charged with leaving a Bradford drug abuse treatment center Jan. 4 and traveling 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.

Simpson also allegedly told the woman that he knew where she lived and that if she contacted police he would kill her, according to court documents filed by prosecutors urging that he be held.

After leaving Vermont Simpson fled to Pennsylvania where police spotted the stolen car he was allegedly driving. The car was eventually abandoned, and police were searching for the driver when another vehicle was reported stolen.

Officers gave chase again, and that car crashed into a telephone pole. Simpson was taken into custody by police in Upper Darby Township.

Simpson is due to make his next court appearance later this month.

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