O’Ryan Johnson at the Boston Herald writes:
The man once known as Clark Rockefeller was formally charged today with crimes he allegedly committed in early August when he ran off with his daughter during a supervised visit with a social worker.
Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury for parental kidnapping, assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and providing a false name to police, according to the Suffolk District Attorney’s office.
Gerhartsreiter fled from the Back Bay, prompting a week-long manhunt, during which authorities began to uncover a twisted pattern of false identities and possible ties to murdered California newlyweds.
Here’s a press release from the Suffolk County DA’s Office:
BOSTON, Sept. 26, 2008–A Suffolk County grand jury today returned indictments charging CHRISTIAN KARL GERHARTSREITER (D.O.B. 2/21/61) with parental kidnapping, assault-related offenses, and providing a phony name to the Boston Police detectives investigating the case, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley announced.
Currently held without bail on similar district court complaints, the indictments move Gerhartsreiter’s case to Superior Court, where it will be adjudicated. Conley said he expects Gerhartsreiter to be arraigned on the indicted charges Monday.
Gerhartsreiter – formerly known as “Clark Rockefeller,” among other aliases – allegedly kidnapped his daughter on July 27, during their first scheduled visit following his divorce from her mother.
Under the terms of their 2007 divorce, Gerhartsreiter and his ex-wife agreed that she would have legal custody of her daughter and that Gerhartsreiter would be allowed a limited number of visits each year, with those visits monitored by an independent social worker. In addition to the kidnapping charge, Gerhartsreiter is also charged with assault and battery for allegedly shoving that social worker to the ground during the abduction and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon – the sport utility vehicle in which he escaped – for allegedly directing his driver to accelerate when he knew the social worker was holding on to the moving vehicle’s door. Those charges carry maximum penalties of 2 years in a house of correction and 10 years in state prison, respectively.
Finally, Gerhartsreiter was also indicted today for giving a false name to a police officer, a crime punishable by up to a year behind bars from and after any sentence for the underlying offense for which he was arrested. Gerhartsreiter incurred that charge by identifying himself as “Clark Rockefeller” to the Boston Police detectives interviewing him upon his August arrest.
“That the victim in this case is the defendant’s own daughter doesn’t minimize the wrongness of his actions,” Conley said. “He took her across state lines without her legal guardian’s knowledge or permission – it’s any parent’s worst nightmare. People on the run take risks they wouldn’t in other circumstances, and we’re all very lucky that this young girl suffered no long-term physical injury as a result of her ordeal.”
Gerhartsreiter’s arraignment will likely take place Monday morning in the Magistrate’s Session of Suffolk Superior Court, located on the seventh floor of the courthouse. The defendant is represented by attorney Stephen Hrones.