German Accused in Internet Affair
THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) _ A German man accused of luring a Florida teen-ager to Greece via the Internet was arraigned Tuesday and jailed pending trial on charges of abduction and sexual assault.
After his arraignment, 35-year-old Konstantin Baehring said he loves the 15-year-old and hopes eventually to marry her.
``I still love her, I have her deep in my heart. When she turns 18, if she can find me, we can get married,″ Baehring said as he was led from the closed-door hearing to the Diavata maximum security facility on the outskirts of this northern port city.
Baehring was arraigned on a felony charge of abducting a minor with intent to carry out unethical actions, which carries a 10-year sentence. Baehring also faces misdemeanor charges of luring a minor and violating obscenity statutes (sexual assault), which carry maximum sentences of five years each.
No trial date was set.
In Tampa, Fla., the teen-ager’s attorney said the junior high school student doesn’t believe she’s a victim of the older man.
Attorney Robert Valentine said the teen-ager, who returned home with her mother, had wanted to stay and continue living with Baehring. She will undergo counseling, he said, and to help in that process he asked reporters to leave the girl alone.
The girl ran away from her Polk County, Fla., home in August and traveled to Greece under a fake passport with the help of two others.
The two other adults involved, Martina Crivaro, 24, of Lakeland, Fla., and Robert Arnder, 41, of Dennison, Ohio, are being held in their hometowns on charges of assisting Baehring.
Valentine said the girl probably will be homeschooled to avoid the attention of her classmates.
The family initially had little help from Greek authorities in locating the girl _ who was communicating through e-mail with her mother _ until the story became a media sensation.
``I don’t think she gave up hope,″ Valentine said of the girl’s mother, who has made a public appeal for parents to be vigilant of Internet dangers.