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Kidnapping suspect indicted on nine counts

Post-Star - 11/17/2023

Nov. 17—Craig Ross Jr. was arraigned by Judge James Walsh in Saratoga County Court on nine counts, the highest being felony first-degree kidnapping on the morning of Friday, Nov. 17. He is the suspect in the kidnapping case of a 9 — year-old girl at Moreau Lake State Park in September. Ross, 46, of 13 Circle Dr. in Porter's Corners, faces a minimum of 15 years to life to a maximum of 25 years to life in prison if convicted on the charge.

If convicted, the charges could run consecutively, meaning one after the other, extending the length of time in prison.

Of the nine indictments, four are felony predatory sexual assault against a child and two are violent felonies of first-degree sexual abuse according to court documents from Saratoga District Attorney Karen Heggen. A temporary one year order of protection against Ross was also filed in the arraignment by Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Buckley.

"When the defendant was arraigned in Milton Town Court they issued a temporary order of protection to the victim. Now that this matter has been transferred to this court, the people are respectfully requesting that this court orders a new temporary order of protection," Buckey said.

Ross was represented by Saratoga County Conflict Defender George Conway.

Ross was arrested by New York State Police on Wednesday, Oct. 4, after two days of searching for the girl. The girl had been riding her bike around the camp while on a family camping trip before she disappeared on Saturday, Sept. 30.

The 9-year-old was found alive Monday, Oct. 2 in a cabinet inside a trailer behind the suspect's mother's house, according to statements made by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in a press conference.

The break came at 4:20 a.m. While the family's home was guarded by state police, someone in a vehicle dropped a ransom note in the mailbox. A fingerprint was found on the note.

When asked about how they are prepared for the case, Heggen said that the community might not have many cases such as this, but they are always ready if one ever comes along.

"We are fortunate to live in a community that a case like this is so uncommon," Heggen said. "It doesn't mean that we are an office that is unprepared to handle these kinds of cases. I have a dedicated team, especially the team that is leading the prosecution of this. They are long-term veterans of the office and I know will provide a just and appropriate result in this case for the victim and the community."

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