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Published: Tuesday, 11/5/2002

Girl's abductor receives maximum 11-year term

A man dressed as a woman when he abducted a 6-year-old Maumee girl from her fenced yard was sentenced yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to 11 years in prison.

Troy A. Ames, 20, was given the sentence for snatching the girl May 17 as she played in the backyard of her home in the 1100 block of Fort Street. The kidnapping was thwarted when the girl's mother, hearing her daughter's screams, confronted Ames and fought with him, allowing her daughter to escape.

Judge Ruth Ann Franks had harsh words for Ames before she handed him maximum sentences for kidnapping and possession of criminal tools. “The psychological harm and the trauma to the child and her parents is immeasurable. You robbed them of a feeling of peace,” Judge Franks said.

Ames, of 1068 Craig St., was classified a sexually oriented offender and must register annually with the sheriff's office for 10 years after he is released from prison.

The girl was bruised and lost a tooth in the ordeal when he tossed her over the fence and slammed the car door against her legs as he tried to get away.

Ames climbed over the picket fence to get into the yard. He snatched the girl who was playing with her 2-year-old sister. The mother, who was in the house, ran outside after hearing her daughter scream.

In the ensuing struggle, the daughter ran from the defendant's car. The wig fell from Ames' head and he fled in his car. He was arrested about 45 minutes later. He directed police to the trash bin where he had deposited the women's clothing he wore during the kidnapping attempt.

The victim's mother cried as she told the court about the impact the abduction has had on her family. She said she believed Ames could have faced more serious charges if he had succeeded in taking her daughter.

“The only thing that made May 17th a bad day for Troy Ames was me, because I stopped him from finishing out his plans for our 6-year-old daughter,” she said.

In asking the court for a less severe sentence, Sheldon Wittenberg, Ames' attorney, said his client was taken away from his mother when he was about 3 years old because of neglect.

He said Ames suffered from child abuse while in the custody of foster homes before he was placed with a family that eventually adopted him.

Mr. Wittenberg also referred to court diagnostic treatment reports from psychologists who recommended treatment for Ames in lieu of prison, in part, because of a gender-identity problem.



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