Accused Timmothy Pitzen impostor to remain in jail without bond

The judge says Brian Rini has no home, job and is a flight risk due to past crimes

Accused Timmothy Pitzen impostor due in federal court

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The accused Timmothy Pitzen impostor will remain behind bars, a magistrate judge determined Tuesday afternoon.

This was the second court appearance for Brian Rini, 23, of Medina County.

Rini is charged with making false statements to a federal agent and accused of impersonating Timmothy Pitzen, the Chicago-area boy who went missing in 2011 at the age of 6.

Judge Karen L. Litkovitz ruled that no bond would be set for Rini who she said is a flight risk due to his lack of a stable home, lack of job, and mental health concerns.

Defense attorneys for the accused impostor did not argue with this ruling. They agreed that Rini is not a good candidate for bond due to the same reasons.

Rini also claimed he was sexually assaulted and trafficked while police say he was pretending to be Pitzen. This is not the first time Rini claimed to be a juvenile sex trafficking victim, federal officials say.

Litkovitz says Rini’s criminal history dates back to the age of 13 and he has a history of failing to appear in court along with current and active warrants for unrelated crimes.

The judge set Rini’s next court appearance for April 19 at 1:30 p.m. for a preliminary hearing to determine if there’s enough probably cause to continue to trial.

Currently, Rini is only charged on a criminal complaint.

However, U.S. Attorney Brian Glassman says that court date might not be necessary if a grand jury hears the evidence against Rini before then. The grand jury could return an indictment in the case, which would serve as the probable cause for the case to continue.

Glassman also said that due to Rini’s allegations of sex trafficking, potential penalties will be harsher if convicted. There’s a potential of up to eight years in prison for making those false statements.

He said none of Rini’s family members were willing to come forward and take responsibility for him and offer him a place to stay, which factored into the decision to forgo bond.

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Thursday, DNA test results confirmed Rini was not Pitzen.

He appeared in court wearing a lime green Butler County Jail uniform top over his prison jumpsuit. He was shackled around the waist to his wrists and also around his ankles.

Rini appeared detached during the court appearance, mostly sitting still with a glazed expression. He offered a smile and attempted a small waive when his defense attorney approached him.

At least one ATF agent was present during the hearing. He briefly conferred with the prosecution about charges moments before court began.

Rini was originally booked into the Butler County Jail around 3 p.m. Friday and remains there on a detainer for U.S. Marshals, jail records show.

He was separated from the other inmates and monitored, jail officials said Tuesday morning, declining to release further details.

Police say Rini walked through the streets of Newport last week claiming to be Pitzen.

He appeared confused but knew the child’s full name and date of birth. Timmothy would be 14 now.

Rini was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center after complaining of abdominal pains and claimed he escaped from two men who held him captive and forced him to have sex, federal court records show.

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He admitted to investigators he learned about Timmothy’s case by watching the television news program “20/20."

Investigators confirmed a rerun of the show aired in the past several weeks, said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman.

Rini has a lengthy criminal record, court records show, including guilty pleas to making false alarms and falsification.

He was released March 7 from Belmont Correctional Institution in southeast Ohio after serving about 15 months for felony convictions of burglary and vandalism.

According to Rini’s brother, he has mental health issues and has been in trouble for years.

Glassman said his heart goes out to Timmothy’s family and the search for him remains ongoing.

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