By Ted Siefer
(Reuters) - A New Hampshire man accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl and repeatedly raping her while holding her hostage for 10 months in a shipping container is expected to plead guilty to some charges on Thursday.
Nathaniel Kibby pleaded not guilty in 2014 to a long list of criminal counts related to incident, which transfixed the mountain town of North Conway, whose residents spent months searching for the girl, who disappeared in October 2013.
Kibby, 35, is due to appear in Belknap County Superior Court on Thursday for a change-of-plea hearing. His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment, and court documents did not make it clear if he planned to plead guilty to some or all of the charges.
Prosecutors contend that Kibby, who now faces nearly 200 criminal counts, held the girl hostage in a container near his home in Gorham, where he subjected her to harsh treatment, including being fitted with a shock collar.
The plea hearing was scheduled after Kibby's attorneys filed numerous motions ahead of a trial that was scheduled to begin this summer. He could face up to life in prison.
The teen returned home to North Conway nine months after she disappeared, under circumstances that remain mysterious.
(Reporting by Ted Siefer in Lowell, Massachusetts; Editing by Scott Malone and Steve Orlofsky)