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No Bail for Man Who Claimed to Be Missing Child

Judge decides Brian Rini is a flight risk
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 10, 2019 12:10 AM CDT
This undated photo provided by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office in Cincinnati shows Brian Rini.   (Hamilton County Sheriff's Office via AP)
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(Newser) – A US magistrate ordered an Ohio man to remain jailed without bond Tuesday on a charge that he lied to federal agents about being a missing child from Illinois. Authorities in Kentucky charged Brian Michael Rini, 23, of Medina, Ohio, on Friday, a day after DNA testing proved he wasn't Timmothy Pitzen, who disappeared in 2011 at age 6. "I believe Mr. Rini poses a risk of flight," Magistrate Karen Litkovitz said during a brief hearing in which Rini stood before her in a jail uniform with his wrists and ankles shackled. She cited his lack of a permanent address, past mental health issues, and "a lengthy criminal history" that goes back to age 13, the AP reports. She also noted that he had just been released on probation last month from state prison, after serving more than a year on burglary and vandalism charges.

Federal authorities said he also has twice before portrayed himself to be a juvenile sex trafficking victim, as he did in this case. The judge scheduled an April 19 preliminary hearing for Rini, who could face up to eight years in prison if convicted of making false statements to federal agents. Police picked up Rini the morning of April 3 after a report that someone was wandering the streets of Newport, Kentucky. They said he told them he was Timmothy and that he had escaped two kidnappers after years of sexual abuse. Police took him to Cincinnati Children's Hospital for treatment and testing. Federal authorities have said they were skeptical, especially after he refused to be fingerprinted, but didn't want to miss a chance to possibly solve the Pitzen disappearance. The FBI said DNA testing established his identity as a convicted felon.

(Read more hoax stories.)

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