Craig N. Ross faces life in prison for kidnapping 9-year-old Charlotte Sena - Hindustan Times
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Craig N. Ross faces life in prison for kidnapping and sexually assaulting 9-year-old Charlotte Sena

Feb 22, 2024 12:47 PM IST

Life imprisonment for kidnapper Craig Nelson Ross Jr. as he pleads guilty to snatching a 9-year-old girl from a state park.

A guilty plea from a man who kidnapped a 9-year-old girl from a state park last year landed him in prison for the rest of his life.

Charlotte Sena, 9, who vanished during a camping trip in upstate New York. Authorities say that Sena has been found safe Monday, following a two day search. (Family photo via AP/NYPD)(AP/NYPD)
Charlotte Sena, 9, who vanished during a camping trip in upstate New York. Authorities say that Sena has been found safe Monday, following a two day search. (Family photo via AP/NYPD)(AP/NYPD)

WRGB reported that Craig Nelson Ross Jr. admitted to the charges of first-degree kidnapping and predatory sexual assault against a child in court on Wednesday.

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The girl was riding her bike in Moreau Lake State Park when Ross Jr. snatched her on Sept. 30, 2023. He hid her in a cabinet inside a camper at his mother’s house, where she was found by the authorities less than 48 hours later.

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The police traced Ross Jr.'s fingerprints from a ransom note that he allegedly put in the girl’s family’s mailbox. The fingerprints matched a DWI case from 1999 in Saratoga, N.Y.

No emotion at all

According to The Times Union, Ross Jr. showed no emotion as he confessed to his crimes. He could face up to 47 years in prison, with 25 years to life for the kidnapping charge and 22 years to life for the sexual assault charge.

Ross Jr. accepted a plea deal that spared him from going to trial on April 8. If he had gone to trial, the girl might have had to testify against him. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 17 and is being held without bail at the Saratoga County Jail.

WTEN reported that the prosecution had a strong case against Ross Jr., with Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Buckley saying that they had “over 2,000 photos, hundreds of body camera and surveillance videos, emails, radio transmissions, and witnesses” as evidence.

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The girl’s family expressed gratitude to the people who helped bring her back safely. They thanked the “FBI, the New York State police, all of the agencies that were mobilized, all of the families, friends, community, neighbors and hundreds of volunteers.”

They also said that they were “thrilled that she is home, and we understand that the outcome is not what every family gets.”

Ross Jr. had a previous arrest in April 2017 for a physical domestic incident, in addition to his 1999 DWI case that resulted in a fine and a 90-day suspension of his driver’s license.

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