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Published: Wednesday, 6/18/2014

Toledo pair get 3 years for abducting UT student

August incident was arranged in online chat room

Martinez Martinez

BOWLING GREEN — For their part in the abduction of a Chinese University of Toledo student who had been promised a trip to an amusement park over an online chat room last year, a Toledo man and woman were each sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison.

Long Long

Brittany J. Long, 20, of 2606 Keygate Dr. and Nicholas H. Martinez, 19, of 1035 Park Lane both pleaded guilty March 27 to a reduced charge of abduction in the Aug. 18 incident with Kun Liu.

Prosecutors said the defendants held Mr. Liu for ransom after promising him a trip to Cedar Point.

“This is a very serious kind of offense,” Wood County Common Pleas Judge Robert Pollex said before Martinez’s sentencing. “There could have been loss of life.”

Both Long and Martinez will be eligible for early release after six months in prison. In addition to handing down their prison sentences, Judge Pollex dismissed a charge of aggravated robbery against Long and Martinez, as part of a plea agreement.

In statements to the court before sentencing, attorneys for both Long and Martinez emphasized that the two defendants had been candid about their involvement in the kidnapping. As part of their plea deals, Long and Martinez have agreed to testify against another co-defendant, Hui Zhang, 24, 1540 Penn Rd., when she goes to trial Aug. 25.

Long told the court that she had taken responsibility for her actions, apologizing for her involvement in the incident.

Defense attorney Pete Rost, the attorney for Martinez, asked that the court consider his client’s lack of education, history of substance abuse, and role as primary caregiver to a baby when determining sentencing.

Martinez, addressing the court prior to his sentence, said he only wanted “to take care of my child.”

A fourth individual involved in the case — Long’s brother, Blake L. Long, 21, of 5357 Florita Dr. in South Toledo — also entered a guilty plea in March. He is to be sentenced July 22.

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