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Mother found guilty in kidnapping plot in Douglas County

Cynthia Abcug, 53, was found guilty of a felony charge of conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping and child abuse-knowingly or recklessly causing injury.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — A jury on Friday found Cynthia Abcug guilty of charges that she subjected her son to “medical” child abuse, then plotted a “raid” to kidnap him from the foster home where he was living after being removed from her care.

Abcug, 53, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping, a felony, and child abuse-knowingly or recklessly causing injury, a misdemeanor. Sentencing was set for Oct. 6.

Abcug declined to comment after leaving court but indicated she will speak publicly after sentencing.

The case drew attention amid the allegation that Abcug had planned to take her son back with help from followers of the conspiracy theory known as QAnon.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Gary Dawson said the passage of time since the charges were filed in 2019 was a key factor in the verdict because it allowed jurors to see that the boy has been thriving since he was removed from his mothers home more than three years ago.

"The difference between him with the defendant and with his foster mom was very, very stark," Dawson said.

Dawson also praised Abcug's daughter, who reported the plot to kidnap her son to police -- and testified for the prosecution at the trial.

"The difficult part of a conspiracy is, of course, it’s done in secret – we don’t usually know who is on the inside," Dawson said. "In this case we had a child on the inside who saw something going wrong and had the courage to speak up."

During a little more than three hours of testimony Thursday, Abcug denied that she had exaggerated her son’s medical problems or told people that he was terminally ill, said she knew nothing about QAnon, and mistakenly believed that people she met online could help her legally get her son back.

The boy, now 10 years old, was removed from her care in the spring of 2019.

Abcug also said she missed two court hearings related to the removal of her son in the fall of 2019 after a man she thought was going to help her took her phone and kept her at a “safehouse” for 90 days.

RELATED: In testimony, woman denies plotting with conspiracy group to kidnap her son

The case went to the jurors about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, and they retired for the night a short time later, then returned at 9 a.m. Friday to begin deliberations.

The prosecution’s case was based on testimony and records showing that the boy’s medical issues were almost always reported by Abcug and rarely seen by others – and the news that in the three-plus years since he was removed from her home he has experienced no serious medical issues.

Multiple people testified that Abcug told them her son had serious medical conditions – including a seizure disorder, a serious heart condition, and brain tumors – and was terminally ill.

On the witness stand, Abcug denied saying those things.

The defense countered with voluminous medical records – more than 5,000 pages in all – that documented a number of medical issues, including the results of a  brain scan known as an electroencephalogram, or EEG, that the boy underwent multiple times. Six of those tests showed “abnormal” brain activity.

Abcug could face as many as six years in prison on the conspiracy charge -- although she could also be given probation. She has no prior criminal record -- a factor judges sometimes take into consideration at sentencing.

Contact 9Wants to Know investigator Kevin Vaughan with tips about this or any story: kevin.vaughan@9news.com or 303-871-1862.

RELATED: Woman's children testify about concerns over her talk of a 'raid' to kidnap son from foster care

RELATED: Competing narratives emerge in trial of woman accused in kidnapping plot

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