CODY, Wyo. (AP) - A Montana nature photographer has been sentenced to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to kidnapping and sexually abusing an 10-year-old girl in Wyoming. Jesse Paul Speer of Manhattan, Mont., was sentenced Tuesday by state District Judge Steven Cranfill after changing his pleas in the case.
Authorities say the 41-year-old Speer tricked the girl into accompanying him in October 2012 by saying he was looking for a lost puppy. They say he then pulled a gun and drove her into the wilderness outside Yellowstone National Park.
A pair of hunters later found the girl wandering at night along a dirt road about 20 miles southeast of Cody. Speer was tracked down by investigators who paired the girl's account of her abduction with video footage of his SUV passing through Yellowstone National Park the day before the assault.