CHICAGO (CBS) — Brian Michael Rini, the Ohio man accused of pretending to be Timmothy Pitzen, an Aurora boy who has been missing for eight years, has been indicted on new federal charges.
A grand jury indicted Rini, 23, on two counts of making false statements to the FBI, and one count of aggravated identity theft. He was scheduled to appear for an arraignment in federal court in Ohio on Friday. Rini previously had been charged with one count of false statements.
Rini was seen roaming alone earlier this month in Newport, Kentucky, and told police officers that he was Timmothy Pitzen, and had just escaped from two kidnappers who had been holding him for seven years.
Federal prosecutors have said Rini repeatedly told investigators he was Pitzen and that he had been kidnapped and sexually abused, but investigators admitted they had their doubts about his claim. He allegedly refused to be fingerprinted, but submitted to a DNA test after which his true identity was determined. After Rini was confronted with DNA evidence, he admitted to federal agents that he was not Pitzen.
“I think that declining to be finger printed certainly is a red flag,” U.S Attorney Benjamin Glassman said..
Pitzen has been missing since 2011, when his mother was found dead in Rockford, after pulling the 6-year-old out of school and taking him on a trip to Wisconsin. He would be 14 years old today.
According to the FBI, Rini had recently watched a 20/20 segment about Pitzen. Ohio state records show the segment aired around that time that Rini was released from an 18-month stint in prison for burglary and vandalism.
Investigators determined Rini had twice before falsely portrayed himself as a juvenile sex trafficking victim.
“False reports in cases like Timmothy’s is traumatic to families,” Robert Brown, FBI’s Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville Field Office. “Lying to the FBI has consequences.”
Rini has a long rap sheet, and he got out of prison just a month ago on that burglary and vandalism case.
His criminal record dates back to at least 2013 and includes a history of lying.
CBS 2 discovered that he pleaded guilty to two charges of “making false alarms” in 2015 and 2016.
His brother said that he’s even impersonated him.
“He used my name in a traffic stop in Norton and skipped court, and I received a traffic warrant for it,” Jonathan Rini said.
Rini is being held without bond, after a federal judge determined he is a flight risk. If convicted, he could face up to eight years in prison for each count of false statements, and up to two years for identity theft.