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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Defendant Sentenced to 8 Years Prison For Kidnapping 4 Year Old Girl

Santa Rosa, CA  –  August 13, 2018  –  District Attorney Jill Ravitch has announced that defendant Tina Szczepanek, 42-years-old of Lakeport, CA was sentenced today by the Honorable Judge Dana Simonds to 8 years prison for violating her probation.

On March 15, 2017, the defendant entered a plea of no contest to the only charge alleged on the complaint, PC208, Kidnapping of a Child under 14 years of Age. She was sentenced to probation, one year in jail, ordered to enroll in a counseling program, and given a suspended sentence of 8 years in prison. On March 22, 2018, Szczepanek was back in custody for a violation of probation.

Szczepanek violated her probation by using a controlled substance, failing to complete the counseling program, and failing to report to probation. Ms. Szczepanek admitted the violation and the court imposed the suspended sentence of eight years in state prison.

District Attorney Ravitch stated, “The crime committed by this defendant is a family’s nightmare, but thanks to the quick thinking of the victim’s mother, nothing further happened. Nonetheless, the egregious conduct of the defendant merits the sentence she received.”

The charge resulted from the crime committed on December 8, 2016, at the Trader Joe’s on Santa Rosa Avenue. The victim, who is four years old, was shopping at Trader Joe’s with her mother. While the victim’s mom was in line at the check-stand, she walked away from her mother to return the child’s shopping cart at a location near the front entrance.

When the victim returned the cart, Szczepanek was standing inside the store about thirty feet from the front entrance. Szczepanek then walked towards the victim, squatted down and picked her up. Szczepanek told the victim she did not know where her mother was and that she may be outside. Szczepanek then carried the victim outside. The victim’s mom quickly chased after the defendant and stopped her about thirty feet outside the store. The victim’s mom yelled at Szcepzenk and she placed the victim down and walked away. The victim did not suffer any injuries and quickly returned to her mother after being released.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Javier Vaca. The Santa Rose Police Department headed the investigation.

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Joe Langenbahn
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Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
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