The man accused of kidnapping a 9-year-old girl from an upstate New York park has been deemed fit for trial and well enough to show up in person for court appearances.
Craig Ross Jr., 46, wore a vest over his collared shirt for Thursday’s appearance. He was handcuffed the entire time.
The victim’s aunt, Jene Sena, sat in the Saratoga County, New York, courtroom during the brief appearance.
“Seeing him today was being in the presence of pure evil and justice needs to prevail now, so he can never do this to anyone else ever again because he absolutely will,” Sena told Fox News Digital.
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Ross pleaded not guilty to a nine-count indictment on kidnapping and sex abuse charges.
He allegedly grabbed the girl from a New York State park on Sept. 30 and held her captive in a camper behind his mom’s double-wide trailer.
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By Oct. 2, several law enforcement agencies tracked down the girl and rescued her in spectacular fashion.
They swarmed the area around Ross’ mother’s house, blasted through the camper door with flashbangs and found the missing girl alive in a cabinet.
“We’ve been put through something that no family should ever have to go through, and we’re taking it one day at a time,” Sena said.
There was a temporary pause on Ross’ case when his defense attorney recused himself from the case to take a political job.
Matthew Maiello took over as the suspected child kidnapper’s lawyer, and Thursday was the first time he appeared next to his new client in court.
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He did not return Fox News Digital’s request for comment or answer questions about the case.
Ross is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 21.
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