Where Is Jan Broberg From Abducted In Plain Sight Today?

Upon its release in 2017, "Abducted in Plain Sight" shocked and disturbed viewers (via Refinery29). Per IMDb, the documentary, tells the story of how one man, Robert Berchtold, kidnapped and sexually assaulted Jan Broberg (who now goes by Jan Broberg Felt). According to The Cinemaholic, the Brobergs were an average family from Idaho until Berchtold came into their life and manipulated them all. In the 1970s, When Felt was just 12 years old Berchtold kidnapped her and took her out of the country. As Oxygen explains, this did not immediately raise any alarm bells with Felt's parents as they fully trusted Berchtold.

It was during this abduction that Berchtold relayed some bewildering news to Felt. He informed her that they were part of an alien mission and that she was chosen to have his child (per Refinery29). If Felt didn't comply, she and her family would die. Ultimately, Newsweek reports that Berchtold fully brainwashed and blackmailed Felt and her family to the point where she believed that she was in love with him. However, at the age of 16, Insider states that Felt realized that everything that Berchtold told her was a complete fabrication. After years of sexual and emotional abuse, she realized that she was a victim.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

The first abduction

Refinery29 states that in October 1974, Berchtold abducted Felt under the guise that he was taking her horseback riding. Instead, he drugged her and took her to Mexico. While on the drive there, the Idaho State Journal writes that Felt listened to a recording that explained that she needed to have Berchtold's child to save an alien planet. Terrified for her loved ones, Felt agreed and later told the publication "The only thing I was thinking about was protecting my family." From then on, Berchtold repeatedly raped Felt. While in Mexico, he also married the then 12-year-old child. By this point, both her parents and the authorities were searching for her (per People).

According to ABC News, Felt was found by the FBI, and Berchtold was arrested. Felt kept quiet and did not disclose that she had been sexually abused for fear of retaliation from the aliens (via Idaho State Journal). Per E! Online, Berchtold was indicted on kidnapping charges. His wife Gail, however, intervened. Felt's father, Bob Broberg, had a previous sexual relationship with Berchtold. Gail was aware of this and told the Brobergs that she would expose this affair if they did not agree to lessen the charges.

ABC News reports that the Brobergs signed an affidavit that explained that Berchtold had their permission to take Felt to Mexico. This resulted in Berchtold being sentenced to five years in jail and five years of probation. This was later reduced to 45 days. Ultimately, Berchtold spent only 10 days in jail (via Refinery29).

Jan Broberg Felt's second abduction by Berchtold

According to the Idaho State Journal, Berchtold also spent time at a mental hospital after the abduction. Upon his release, he was told not to contact Felt or her family. Berchtold completely ignored this stipulation and called Felt on the phone and sent her notes. Then in 1976, when Felt was 14, she was once again abducted by Berchtold (via ABC News). Refinery29 states that the Brobergs believed that their daughter had run away and Berchtold pretended that he knew nothing of Felt's disappearance. In reality, Berchtold had driven Felt to California and enrolled her in a boarding school in Pasadena.

Felt, per the Idaho State Journal, explained that "He would come back on the weekends to take me away from the boarding school and do his dirty work to me." To avoid suspicion, Berchtold duped the school into thinking he was in the CIA. Four months later, ABC News writes that Felt was found and returned home to Idaho by the FBI. Berchtold was then charged with kidnapping (per Refinery29). Oxygen explains that he was once again let off easy by authorities. Instead of facing jail time, he was sent to a mental hospital for six months.

Meanwhile, Felt, who was then 16, still believed that she was being watched by aliens. She told the Idaho State Journal that she was terrified of what was going to happen to her family now that she had failed her "mission." However, when nothing occurred, Felt began to question the story and Berchtold's motives.

Jan Broberg Felt pursued acting

Following the years after her abductions, Refinery29 writes that Felt became an actress. According to IMDb, her career began in the early 90s. Most notably, she portrayed Louise in "Everwood" from 2002 to 2006. Felt's latest acting credit is from 2020 when she starred in "Holly & Ivy," a holiday film from Hallmark. As aforementioned, she became a public speaker and has openly discussed her abuse and abductions (via Insider). From 2003 to 2007, Felt was the Executive Director of the St. George Musical Theater in Utah. In 2019, Refinery29 reported that she was the Executive Director at Kayenta Arts Foundation in ​​Ivins, Utah.

Her role there involved fundraising and public relations (per Refinery29). Felt has also dabbled in stage acting. In 2018, she starred in an on-stage production of "Driving Miss Daisy" in Cedar City, Utah, (per The Spectrum). In 2020, The Cinemaholic stated that Felt had one child and was married to a man named Larry Felt. Her Instagram bio reads that she is the producer for "A Friend of the Family," an upcoming series on Peacock based on Felt's abductions. Per Entertainment Tonight, the series has cast Anna Paquin and Jack Lacey. Actress Mckenna Grace will portray Felt.

Robert Berchtold publicly taunted her

Per The Cinemaholic, it took years for Felt and her family to publicly discuss their appalling ordeal. Newsweek explains that this was due to Berchtold using intimidation tactics. Felt's parents, Mary Ann and Bob Broberg, both had a sexual relationship with Berchtold. They did not want this information coming to light. However, in 2003, Insider writes that Mary Ann published "Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story." The book is a harrowing account of the abuse and manipulation that Felt and the Brobergs endured. Mary Ann and Felt subsequently went on a nationwide tour to discuss their experiences and to inform others about predators and sexual abuse.

According to Oxygen, Berchtold appeared at these public events to express that he was innocent of all the claims being made by Felt and her mother. Felt later told ABC News that "I think he's desperate because he knows our story has come out." Berchtold, on the other hand, stated that the Brobergs were simply doing this to "make a buck" (via ABC News). He insisted that he had never had a sexual relationship with Felt and had not brainwashed her. Berchtold also asserted that he felt a need to care for Felt because he had helped raise his younger sister when his mother was sick.

Jan Broberg Felt was granted a restraining order against Robert Berchtold

At one of her public speaking events in St. George, Utah (via ABC News), Felt requested that Bikers Against Child Abuse, a group that provides emotional support, be present. Per the Idaho State Journal, Felt learned that Berchtold was at the event and reportedly had a gun. Berchtold subsequently got into an altercation with one of the bikers. Berchtold was passing out fliers that stated that he was innocent. A biker asked to see the fliers and Berchtold got into his minivan and hit him. The incident had several witnesses and he was subsequently charged with assault, criminal trespassing, and disorderly conduct.

Felt did not witness this incident but the Idaho State Journal reports that it did prompt her to get a restraining order against Berchtold. However, he fought the order, and Felt and Berchtold were ordered to court. According to Rolling Stone, this was the first time Felt had seen her abuser face to face in 30 years. In the courtroom, Berchtold proclaimed that Felt had publicly come out with her story because she was fame-hungry. Felt replied by saying, "No, I'm doing this because I want to protect families from monsters like you" (via the Idaho State Journal).

In 2004, Felt was granted a restraining order against Berchtold (Per Insider). Vanity Fair states that Berchtold killed himself in 2005. Since coming out with her story, six other women have contacted Felt to say that they too were abused by Berchtold (via Oxygen).

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).