On Friday, the FBI released surveillance footage which shows a man kidnapping a girl on the street of a Chicago suburb. According to a statement from the FBI, the man in the clip is 38-year-old Bryan Protho. He allegedly abducted the girl on December 20 as she was taking a walk.
The victim was allegedly thrown into Protho’s red Ford Explorer. He is accused of driving the child to an alley where he allegedly assaulted her. She was able to escape and flag down another car for help.
According to an affidavit obtained by the Chicago Tribune, the 38-year-old allegedly beat the victim, striking her “numerous times in the face.” He also allegedly muffled her screams. The alleged abuse was also sexual in nature. Protho is accused of threatening to kill the victim if she didn’t take off her pants. Then he touched her inappropriately, according to the FBI.
The victim identified Protho in a police lineup, according to the Chicago Tribune. He has a distinctive scar on his right cheek. The victim's age has not been revealed.
Protho is now in federal custody, where he has been since late December. He has been charged with kidnapping. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf. Even though he has been charged the FBI has stated that his “indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
If convicted, Protho could spend the rest of his life behind bars. An arraignment has been scheduled for next month.
The FBI reports that this is an open investigation. Anyone with information about Protho or his red Ford Explorer seen in the video is urged to contact the FBI Chicago Field office at 312-421-6700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.