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Pittsburgh veteran pleads guilty to kidnapping underage girl

On Aug. 12, a 33-year-old man pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping a minor in Pittsburgh. According to media reports, the man allegedly kidnapped the minor, who was a family friend, to South Dakota in order to continue an illicit relationship.

The authorities had charged the man in 2012 when the incident took place. However, he remained in custody in South Dakota while a federal investigation was taking place. Prosecutors claim that the man kidnapped the girl and took her across state lines for sex. They also allege that the man began a sexual relationship with the minor in 2012.

The man is scheduled to return to Pittsburgh for his sentencing on Dec. 2. If convicted of the charges, he could face a minimum of 10 years behind bars. While not much else is known about the case, it was reported that the man was a veteran and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Accusations of kidnapping and sexual assault of an underage individual are very serious and could potentially have a negative impact on a person's life. Someone who is found guilty could face a lengthy prison sentence, probation once they are released and a conviction on their criminal record. Moreover, under Megan's Law in Pennsylvania, the accused person may be required to register as a sex offender, which could negatively affect an individual's prospects of employment as well as limit as to where he or she may live.

It is important to note that all individuals are innocent until proven guilty and are afforded due process by law. A criminal defense attorney might be able to advocate for an individual facing such charges by carefully examining the evidence in a case in order to build a credible defense that could lead to reduced or dropped charges. In some instances, a plea agreement could also be arranged if there is substantial evidence against a defendant.

Source: CBS Pittsburgh, "Man Pleads Guilty After Taking Local Teen Girl To S.D.", August 12, 2014

Source: CBS Pittsburgh, "Man Pleads Guilty After Taking Local Teen Girl To S.D.", August 12, 2014

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