CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado woman accused of working with supporters of QAnon to have her son kidnapped from foster care can be put on trial, a judge ruled Thursday.
Judge Lawrence Bowling admitted his decision was a “close call” because the prosecution did not definitively lay out Cynthia Abcug’s role in what authorities say was a scheme with supporters of QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory centered on the belief that President Donald Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies of the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring.
However, the fact that she bought a gun as authorities say the talks about the kidnapping raid were happening last year swayed him at this stage of the proceedings.
The vast majority of the evidence presented against Abcug during the court hearing was based on information provided by her 15-year-old daughter last September to her therapist, a social worker and police.
Abcug’s lawyers were denied a chance to question the daughter during the hearing.
In their questioning of the case worker and a police detective, they stressed the daughter could not provide many details about the plot, noting that she had learned to “tune out” her mother who had become very upset when her son was put into foster care in January 2019 after she was suspected of lying about his health problems.
They also pointed out that at first the daughter said she did not know when the raid would be carried out but later said she thought it would be done before the end of October 2019.
Abcug was arrested in Montana on Dec. 30, 2019, after leaving Parker, the Denver suburb where she lived with her daughter. She was charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping after being returned to Colorado.
She sat in a chair a slight distance away from her defense lawyers because of social distancing rules, wearing an orange jail uniform and a surgical mask.
She shook her head when Parker police Detective Beverly Wilson testified that her daughter had said her mother barely left the house except to go to meetings with QAnon supporters.
Abcug’s daughter also told authorities that at least two men had come to their house to provide security for them, including one who her mother told her was a sniper with a military background.
While the FBI has said that QAnon theories could provide an inspiration for domestic terrorists, defense attorney Emily Boehme said the theories have also found support among some elected officials, noting that President Donald Trump has retweeted QAnon-promoting accounts.