Plea agreement reached for Medina man who claimed to be missing kid

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Brian Rini

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal court filing shows that a plea agreement has been reached in the case of a 24-year-old Ohio man who claimed to be a missing Illinois child.

No details were made public immediately on the terms. U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett has a Wednesday status conference set in the case of Brian Michael Rini, of Medina, Ohio. Barrett postponed a June trial after questions were raised about Rini’s mental state, but on Oct. 31 he found him competent to stand trial.

court transcript of the Oct. 31 hearing showed that the defense and prosecution had discussed settling the case before trial. Richard Monahan, a federal public defender, told the judge the talks were likely to be fruitful. He didn’t respond immediately to a message Tuesday seeking comment.

Rini earlier pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated identity theft and lying to FBI agents. He would face up to eight years in prison if convicted on those charges. He’s been held without bond since last April, and was evaluated last summer at a federal facility in Chicago.

Police say Rini was wandering the streets of Newport, Kentucky, last April 3. Police said he told them he was Timmothy Pitzen, an Aurora, Illinois, boy who disappeared in 2011 at age 6. Authorities said Rini told them he had just escaped captors who sexually abused him.

Federal authorities said they were suspicious after he refused to be fingerprinted. DNA testing quickly revealed his true identity.

federal magistrate had cited Rini’s lack of a permanent address, past mental health issues and “a lengthy criminal history” that goes back to age 13. In 2017, Rini was treated at an Ohio center for people with mental health or substance abuse problems, according to court papers.

Continuing coverage of this story here

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