Girl, 8, changes abduction story charges shelved

January 10, 1992|By Sheridan Lyons

A Cedarcroft man accused of trying to pull an 8-year-old Stoneleigh girl into his car last September probably won't be prosecuted because the girl has changed her story, a Baltimore County prosecutor said yesterday.

A defense challenge to the girl's photo identification of the man had been scheduled yesterday. Instead, Assistant State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger moved to place the case on an inactive docket, where it would expire after a year.

Jonathan Griffin Hilbert, 37, of the 600 block of Gittings Avenue has been jailed since Oct. 9 on charges of attempted kidnapping, assault and battery, stemming from the incident about 7 p.m. Sept. 29 in the 900 block of Wellington Road.

"Mr. Hilbert has always maintained his innocence. We had a close alibi and a good defense," said Assistant Public Defender Patricia L. Chappell. But "we appreciate the prosecution's action."

These were the only charges against Mr. Hilbert, she said, and he was to be released.

Mr. Shellenberger said the girl's parents contacted him in the past three weeks to report that their daughter now said the man did not get out of the car and did not touch her -- effectively eliminating the kidnapping and assault charges.

"Once I was satisfied of the truth of this statement," the prosecutor said, "I was obligated to dismiss the case." The motion was granted by Circuit Judge Leonard S. Jacobson.

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