Federal prosecutors say they'll seek the death penalty for a Vermont man accused of kidnapping, molesting and strangling his 12-year-old niece before burying her in a shallow grave.

U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin says prosecutors Tuesday filed a notice of intent to seek a sentence of death against 43-year-old convicted sex offender Michael Jacques.

Jacques is charged with kidnapping resulting in the death of seventh-grader Brooke Bennett. He has pleaded not guilty. His attorneys haven't returned calls seeking comment on the death penalty.

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Prosecutors say Jacques drugged and sexually assaulted Brooke after her June 2008 disappearance in Randolph, a small town just south of Montpelier and about a five-minute drive from her home in Braintree.

Another girl told police Brooke was destined for a child sex club.

Brooke's body was found a week later.