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Investigators: Sister molested, suspects planned abduction weeks ago

March 27, 1997

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ The youngest of two sisters who were abducted by their former baby sitter told investigators that the man molested her at least three times, a detective testified.

The 6-year-old girl said Ronald Stafford molested her in a Daytona Beach hotel room after the abduction Friday from the sisters’ Galesburg, Mich., home, Daytona Beach Detective John Adazzio testified at a bail hearing.

Stafford, 21, was arrested along with his 17-year-old brother Lee and Ricky Geer, 19, on federal kidnapping charges Tuesday after a nationwide search.

A federal magistrate denied bail Wednesday to Ronald Stafford and Geer. Lee Stafford’s records were sealed because he is a juvenile.

Ronald Stafford, the girls’ former baby sitter, has a juvenile record for sexual assault, although his lawyer said it was only for stabbing a boy with a needle in the buttocks.

The girls’ father, Jesse Hainer, said he had known Stafford for more than a year but later told him to stay away from his daughters.

``I think it was revenge,″ Hainer said Wednesday.

A medical examination of the 6-year-old showed no evidence of penetration, Adazzio said. Her 9-year-old sister told investigators she was not molested, and she refused a doctor’s examination, Adazzio said.

FBI agent James Dougal testified that Geer said Ronald Stafford had fondled the breasts of one or both girls and had taken one to the woods for an hour.

Ronald Stafford said that Geer and his brother pinched the girls in the buttocks and grabbed the girls’ legs, Dougal testified.

But Ronald Stafford’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, denied that his client sexually molested the girls and said the FBI misinterpreted the 6-year-old girl’s statements.

The three men planned the sisters’ abduction for two weeks because they thought the girls’ father was mistreating them, Dougal testified.

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