Warning: The following contains descriptive language about the alleged sexual assault of a minor.
WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) – An 11-year-old girl who went missing Tuesday and was later found by Westminster police said the man she was with was a “boyfriend” she met a few days prior through a Craigslist ad.
That man, identified later as 30-year-old Michael Patrick Buckley, is now charged with sexual assault of a minor.
According to an arrest affidavit released Thursday, a witness who was working at a construction site near where the girl lived told police she walked up to him around 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday asking to use his cell phone to call her boyfriend.
The witness told police that the girl claimed to be 23 years old and was supposed to meet her boyfriend whom she met through a Craigslist ad that claimed to be selling rats.
After about 20 minutes, the girl went back to the witness to again use his cell phone, saying her boyfriend was five minutes away.
The witness told police he was concerned because the girl did not look the age she said she was and he had seen photos from the Amber Alert that had been issued for the girl.
Around 3:35 p.m., the witness saw a silver Acura pick up the girl. He took a picture of the vehicle, including the license plate, and saw that the driver was a white male, about 25 to 35 years old. The driver was bald or had very short hair. The driver was wearing glasses and missing his right pinky.
The license information, along with the cell phone number called on the witness’s phone, led police to the location of Buckley.
When officers knocked on Buckley’s front door, they noted Buckley’s right pinky was missing, which helped identify him as a suspect. When officers yelled the girl’s name from the front door, they heard a female voice respond.
When a detective spoke to the girl, she said she and Buckley had sex multiple times in his residence.
The girl told police Buckley was her boyfriend of two days.
Bond for Buckley was set at $100,000 after his first appearance in front of a judge in Jefferson County.
George Brauchler, a former prosecutor, says the type of charge Buckley is facing is made when a child under the age of 15 is the victim of two or more acts of sexual contact.
Brauchler said the pattern-of-abuse element can be interpreted as a series of assaults that take place in a short period of time.