Monday, April 29, 2013

"The family of the victim believes firmly and strongly that there are others involved."

Kindergartener Kidnapper Caught On Tape At Philadelphia School
Re-printed from a story at WTXF FOX 29 on April 29th 2013

Video courtesy of WTXF FOX 29 in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - Christina Regusters, of the 6200 block of Walton Avenue, just celebrated her 20th birthday behind bars.

Now, she could end up spending many more there after she was indicted Monday, April 29th 2013, on 11 counts, including Kidnapping and Involuntary Deviant Sexual Assault On A Minor in the January 2013 abduction of a 5-year-old girl.

"This is a matter that everyone takes very seriously because of the disgusting nature of her injuries and the fact that a child would be stolen basically from a school." DA Seth Williams told FOX 29 in an exclusive interview after the indictment was announced.

Regusters was not in court. She's being held on $4 million bail on charges she was involved in the kidnapping of the little girl from her kindergarten class at Bryant Elementary School in a case that stunned the city.

It was all caught on tape, but even Reguster's attorney admits more people are involved.

"I certainly don't think that my client was a major participant in this affair. I think there are others who are far more responsible," said attorney Fred Harrison.

Harrison went a step further and said his client might be willing to cooperate with investigators to find the others.

"I don't think my client would have been one of the people would have subjected her to that kind of treatment," he said. "At some point in time, I'm sure that we would be forthcoming with something."

"The family of the victim believes firmly and strongly that there are others involved besides Ms. Regusters," said attorney Tom Kline, who represents the little girl and her family.

Harrison also disputes that his client is the woman caught on surveillance video leaving the school with the little girl the day she was kidnapped.

"I don't believe that's her in those images at all." Harrison told reporters outside the court house.

DA Seth Williams says the investigation is ongoing.

"It's still under investigation. We are trying to make sure that all of the defendants that are responsible, if there are more, are held accountable," Williams told FOX 29.

Kline says the victim is recovering and back in the city's educational system, although he would not say if she has returned to school. Regusters is being held in a jail in Northampton County. Her lawyer says she is actually the victim of a sexual assault herself.

In either case, Miss Requesters will be arraigned on the charges on May 20th 2013.

Community efforts to keep the case in the headlines included vigils, marches, ministers of all religions taking to their pulpits, constant discussion on a variety of media platforms, and the announcement of a reward for information in the case put together by a coalition of African American community leaders.

This group of men, which included State Rep. Ron Waters, community activist Bilal Quayyum, Philadelphia NAACP President J. Whyatt Mondesire and Radio One's E. Steven Collins, put their own money together to create a reward fund designed to entice people to provide information. State Sen. Anthony Williams matched their initial $30,000 contributions with $30,000 of his own, Collins said.

By the time of Regusters's arrest, the fund had reached $100,000.

References:
WTXF FOX 29, One Indicted In Abduction Of Child
Philadelphia Sun, A Line Was Crossed