Ohio man pleads not guilty to kidnapping son from mother in 2002

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2015 12:35 PM

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio man accused of taking his 5-year-old son from his mother's house in Alabama in 2002 and living with him under false identities for 13 years pleaded not guilty on Tuesday and remained jailed on a $250,000 bond.

Bobby Hernandez, 53, was indicted in late November on 32 charges in Cuyahoga County, including kidnapping, interference with child custody, tampering with records and forgery, according to court records.

Julian Hernandez, now 18, had been found in a national database for missing children after he had used an incorrect Social Security number for his college applications and his school notified authorities, Alabama police have said.

Cleveland police arrested Hernandez on Nov. 2 after the FBI received a tip that father and son were living in Cleveland, county prosecutors said. Hernandez did not have custody of his son when the boy's mother reported him missing.

At the time of his arrest, Hernandez gave police officers an Ohio driver's license with his photo and the name Jonathan Mangina. Investigators identified him as Hernandez using fingerprint analysis.

Hernandez's attorney, Ralph DeFranco, asked Cuyahoga County Judge Carolyn Friedland to allow him to be on house arrest. Prosecutors said his more than decade of evading authorities showed that he was a flight risk.

Hernandez has been ordered to have no contact with his son. The next court hearing is set for Dec. 10.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by David Bailey and David Gregorio)