Man accused of impersonating missing boy charged, got idea from ’20/20′

CINCINNATI-- The man accused of impersonating a boy missing since 2011 appeared in federal court Friday morning.

Brian Rini, 23, of Medina, is charged with lying to federal agents, which carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison.

Brian Rini

Police responding to a report of a suspicious man encountered Rini in Newport, Kentucky on Wednesday. He told them he was Timmothy Pitzen and claimed he just escaped his captors, according to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Benjamin Glassman.

Rini was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital for treatment and confirmation of his identity. He also described to federal agents he suffered physical abuse. Glassman said he refused to provide fingerprints, but did provide DNA for comparison. That confirmed he was not the missing boy he claimed to be.

Timmothy Pitzen was 6 years old when he went missing from Aurora, Illinois in 2011. That case remains under investigation.

Rini learned about Pitzen's disappearance from an episode of "20/20," the indictment said. The episode recently re-aired.

Rini was released from prison on March 7 after serving 18 months for a destructive party at a Brunswick Hills home. On two previous occasions, he told authorities he was the victim of child sex trafficking.

Anyone with information on Rini's movements before his arrest should call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Continuing coverage of this story here

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