A longtime anti-choice extremist is believed to have sexually fondled an 11-year-old girl in a Washington state grocery store and attempted to lure her outside.
The Seattle Times reported Tuesday that police are currently looking for 58-year-old Curtis Anton Beseda — who served more than a dozen years in federal prison for firebombing abortion clinics in the 1980s and 90s — on charges of child molestation and that a $250,000 warrant has been issued for his arrest.
On Saturday, a man believed to be Beseda approached an 11-year-old girl who was waiting for her father outside a restroom located in a Snohomish, WA Fred Meyer grocery store. Pressing his body against hers and grinding his pelvis into her backside, the man fondled her buttocks and thighs while whispering in her ear that he would buy her the drink she was carrying if she would just follow him outside.
Fearing for her safety, the girl ran to her father, who flagged down a police officer. The man believed to be Beseda fled the store, but not before his image was captured on multiple security cameras.
Video taken inside the store corroborates the girl’s version of events. It was also store video that allowed several local people to identify Beseda, who is reportedly notorious in the area after his decades of malicious acts against women’s health centers.
According to the Everett Herald, Beseda, an unemployed roofer “frequently picketed outside the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Everett. He set three nighttime fires there in 1983 and 1984, eventually forcing the women’s health clinic to close. He also was convicted of an arson at a Bellingham clinic.”
He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the 1980s, but was released in 1996. He returned to prison for a parole violation in 1997 and remained there until 2003.
Police released still images from the grocery store video over the weekend received calls from several people who claimed to be “100 percent sure” that Beseda is the man who reportedly assaulted the girl.
Beseda’s upstairs neighbor contacted police saying she recognized him from the TV news. Since the photos were released, however, Beseda has not returned to his Snohomish apartment.
The Heraldalso said that one caller to the police “reported that Beseda frequents an Everett restaurant, where he makes the female employees uncomfortable.”
The Times reported that another one of the people who identified Beseda from the grocery store video is a friend who knew him in college.
That person pointed out that Beseda has “unique mannerisms” and compulsions that force him to walk in and out of doorways before entering or leaving a building. Police observed the man in the surveillance video doing exactly that before leaving the Fred Meyer store; walking out, then walking back in and leaving.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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