OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
11:13 AM – Friday, November 17, 2023
The man accused of abducting a 9-year-old girl from Moreau Lake State Park in New York in September pleaded not guilty on Friday in Saratoga County Court.
Craig Ross Jr., 46, is suspected to have taken the young girl from the campgrounds as she rode her bike solo. However, Charlotte Sena was safely recovered two days after her disappearance. She was found on October 2nd in Ross’ mobile home in Milton.
Ross now faces a nine-count indictment with charges of 1st degree kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life.
According to police, Ross also faces multiple counts of predatory sexual assault against a child. His arrest was facilitated by a ransom note left in the Sena family’s mailbox, with fingerprints matching a 1999 DUI charge against him.
After the young girl was found, her mother Trisha and father David expressed their gratitude for everyone who worked tirelessly to locate their daughter.
“A huge thank you to 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 who supported us and worked tirelessly to bring Charlotte home,” they said in a statement.
Following Ross’ court appearance, Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen asserted that he would be held fully responsible for the crimes he is accused of.
“We will do it thoroughly and completely because of the work that has been done and continues to be done by law enforcement to hold this defendant who has committed a heinous terrible offense against a tender aged victim,” Heggen said.
We will hold him accountable and responsible,” Heggen added.
The matter was adjourned until Dec. 21st at 9:30 a.m. Meanwhile, the next court date is Jan. 2nd, 2024, for a hearing on whether a plea deal is on the table or not.
A trial has tentatively been scheduled for April 1st.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts