Northridge Kidnapping Suspect Pleads Not Guilty - New York News

Northridge Kidnapping Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

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San Fernando, CA -

(CNS) The prime suspect in the March 27 kidnapping and sexual assault of a 10-year-old Northridge girl pleaded not guilty today to 37 felony charges at his arraignment in San Fernando Superior Court.

Clad in a blue county jail jumpsuit, 32-year-old Tobias Dustin Summers rocked back and forth and mumbled to himself during the proceeding before Superior Court Judge Lloyd M. Nash.

Defense attorney Jeff Yanuck said he was "concerned" about Summers mental health.

Yanuck said he "would be looking into his client's medical background" to determine "whether or not he has mental issues."

Yanuck called the case "extremely serious on all fronts -- for the (girl's) family, for the victim and for Summers' family.

"It is extremely early in the process," Yanuck said.

A meeting to discuss a preliminary hearing date for Summers has been set for May 22. He remained jailed in lieu of $19 million bail.

Summers' alleged accomplice, 29-year-old Daniel Martinez, also was in court today.

Martinez -- who was arrested on March 31 -- pleaded not guilty last month to kidnapping and first-degree burglary charges.

Summers was arrested April 24 in Mexico and returned to Los Angeles County, where he is charged with one count each of kidnapping a victim under 14, kidnapping to commit another crime, first-degree burglary with a person present, and 34 sex-related counts.

Following up on a telephone tip received late April 23, police in Mexico found Summers at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center south of Tijuana. Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said a $25,000 reward that was "highly publicized south of the border" led to the tip about Summers' whereabouts.

Summers was charged April 3 in connection with the abduction of the girl from her bedroom in the 8000 block of Oakdale Avenue. The girl's mother discovered the girl missing around 3 a.m. when she went to check on her after hearing a commotion in the house.

Police said the girl was taken to various locations in two vehicles and sexually assaulted before being dropped off near a Woodland Hills-area hospital that afternoon. She was comforted by a good Samaritan at a nearby coffee shop until police could be summoned.

The girl was barefoot and appeared to be wearing different clothes than those she was reported to be wearing when she disappeared.

The girl's family issued a statement thanking the various law enforcement agencies involved in the search for Summers.

"Throughout this ordeal, they've been working around the clock hunting this man, not only for justice for our daughter, but to make sure he's unable to hurt anyone again," the statement said. "As a family we would also like to thank everyone -- family, friends, members of our church and strangers who have offered prayers, good wishes and thoughts. We're humbled by the outpouring of affection and concern for our daughter. It's not only helped us get through the
last few weeks, but our daughter as well."

Police said Summers, who has a lengthy rap sheet dating back to 2002, was released from custody last July as a result of the state's effort to relieve prison overcrowding. The criminal complaint alleges he has prior convictions for grand theft and petty theft dating back to December 2003.

Although he is not known to be a registered sex offender, Summers did have an arrest for battery in 2009 that involved child annoyance, police said.

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