Daily Court Reporter - News Ohio man who allegedly pretended to be missing Illinois boy charged with lying to federal officers
Ohio man who allegedly pretended to be missing Illinois boy charged with lying to federal officers
An Ohio man who pretended to be a missing Illinois boy has been charged federally with making false statements to federal agents.
Brian Michael Rini, 23, formerly of Medina, Ohio, was arrested recently and is currently in federal custody.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Todd A. Wickerham, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, Robert Brown, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Louisville, Ky. Division, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot K. Isaac, Newport Police Chief Thomas Collins, Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco and Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil announced the charge.
According to the criminal complaint and affidavit filed today, Newport, Ky. police officers responded to a call in which the caller described Rini as wandering the street, looking confused and in need of assistance.
Rini allegedly told officers his name was Timmothy Pitzen and that he was abducted when he was six years old and he “just wanted to go home.”
Local authorities confirmed that Timmothy’s name was associated with a missing and possibly abducted child. Specifically, in 2011, Timmothy, then six years old, went missing from Aurora, Ill. Timmothy was picked up at his school by his mother and a few days later, his mother was found deceased in a Rockford, Ill. hotel room.
Several notes were found in the hotel room that claimed Timmothy was with people who loved him and would take care of him. The notes also stated he would never be found.
Posing as Timmothy, Rini allegedly claimed he had recently escaped from a hotel room in which two men had been holding him captive. He said he had been sexually and physically abused for years while in captivity and that he was having abdominal pain.
Rini was transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Emergency Room because of the complaint of abdominal pain, and there, FBI task force officers met with Rini to potentially investigate sex trafficking and crimes against children. FBI special agents and a detective from the Aurora, Ill. police department also spoke with Rini.
It is alleged that Rini continued to claim to be Timmothy throughout conversations in the hospital.
Rini refused to provide his fingerprints to investigators at Children’s Hospital; however, he did agreed to submit a buccal swab for DNA testing.
DNA test results confirmed Rini’s identity. As a known felon, Rini’s DNA was known to the FBI. Ohio Department of Corrections records indicate Rini was released from an Ohio prison on March 7, 2019.
Once law enforcement officers confronted Rini about his true identity, Rini immediately stated he was not Timmothy Pitzen. He allegedly said he watched a story about Timmothy on 20/20 and stated he wanted to get away from his only family. When questioned further, it is alleged that Rini stated “he wished he had a father like Timmothy’s.”
Further investigation by the FBI found that Rini had allegedly portrayed himself as a juvenile sex trafficking victim on two prior occasions. In those instances, he was only identified once he was fingerprinted.
Making false statements to federal agents is a federal crime punishable by eight years in this case.
Assistant United States Attorneys Kyle J. Healey and Christy L. Muncy are prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
About the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio
Our mission is to protect and serve the citizens of the Southern District of Ohio through the ethical, vigorous and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States, and in so doing to defend the national security, improve the safety and quality of life in our communities, protect the public funds and financial assets of the United States, maintain a courteous and professional working environment, and, with skill and integrity, seek to do justice in every matter
We are the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, one of 94 United States Attorney’s Offices in the country. We are a part of the Department of Justice. Our District is comprised of 48 counties in the southern half of the state.
We represent the interests of the United States, both criminal and civil, in federal court. It is our responsibility to enforce federal criminal laws. We work to prevent terrorism and promote the nation’s security. We are committed to preventing crime, enforcing federal laws, and representing the rights and interests of the American people. We strive to ensure the fair and efficient administration of justice for all Americans.
We prosecute those individuals and organizations that violate federal criminal statutes. We work with a multitude of federal, state, and local agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Park Service, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, The Ohio Highway Patrol, and multitude of local law enforcement agencies. We prosecute a wide-variety of offenses including domestic and foreign terrorism; child pornography and exploitation; civil rights violations; bank robbery and other violent crimes; firearms offenses; drug trafficking; health care fraud; immigration violations; public corruption; tax evasion; mail, bank and wire fraud; environmental offenses; and identity theft.
We also represent the United States in civil litigation, affirmative and defensive. As such, we sue individuals or entities who have violated federal civil laws. We also defend the interests of the United States when it, or one of its departments, agencies, or employees is sued, and we defend federal programs and agency actions.
We collect monies owed to the United States from forfeiture, restitution, and fines imposed as a part of the judgment in federal cases. We also pursue collection of civil debts owed to the United States, including student, small business, housing, and farm loans. Finally, we represent the interests of federal agencies in bankruptcy court.
Our district covers the bottom half of the state of Ohio.
Our district contains three staffed offices in Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton. The Columbus office is the headquarters of our District and is the largest, followed by Cincinnati then Dayton.
Date Published: April 23, 2019