LUBBOCK, Texas — The federal trial for a man accused of cyberstalking and kidnapping a 14-year-old Lubbock girl began Tuesday with jury selection, opening statements and witness testimony.

Thomas John Boukamp, now 22, was arrested in November 2020 in Alden, Michigan. He was charged with cyberstalking, receipt of child pornography and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual conduct, among several other charges.

The trial was originally scheduled to begin in August 2021, but was postponed so a mental evaluation could be done on Boukamp. He was found competent to stand trial in May 2022.

Boukamp represented himself in the trial after he was allowed to fire his lawyers.

Opening statements

The government said the victim, which will be identified as Jane Doe by, began talking with Boukamp when she was 13 using the instant messaging app Discord.

Boukamp manipulated and controlled Doe into an online sexual relationship, the government said in its opening statement.

The messages between the two were disturbing, the government said.

In his opening statement, Boukamp said the disturbing things they talked about defined their relationship, which had a six-year age difference.

Boukamp said he still loved Doe. He told the jury he intended to marry Doe and still would.

He said he was 19 the two began talking. He was 20 in November 2020, according to court documents.

Boukamp told the jury he had sex with the victim. Court records described it as “criminal sexual conduct.”

He also blamed the government for exposing Doe to the terrible things in the trial.

Witness testimony

The victim’s dad testified that the victim had mental and psychological problems starting in July and August of 2020. He said she became withdrawn.

He said he knew Doe had run away because she took her baby blanket and left a note.

Doe was shaking and traumatized when he saw her after Boukamp was arrested, her father said.

Because Boukamp is representing himself, he is entitled to cross examine (question) witnesses during trial.

During the cross examination by Boukamp, the victim’s father was visibly upset, according to a reporter in the courtroom.

A detective with the Lubbock Police Department said Boukamp was aggressive with Doe on Discord.

Boukamp said he wanted to torture Doe psychologically, the detective said. He also threatened her family.

According to the detective, Boukamp talked about buying Doe at one point.

What is next?

The trial was set to last three to four days, according to court documents.

According to court documents, the victim was expected to testify at some point. will have a reporter in the courtroom for the duration of the trial. We will provide updates in the coming days.

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