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Man who claimed to be boy who went missing in 2011 sentenced to prison

Updated: Dec. 15, 2020 at 3:57 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The man authorities say claimed to be a missing boy from Illinois was sentenced to two years behind bars.

Brian Rini, 24, pleaded guilty in January to aggravated identity theft for lying about being an Aurora, Illinois boy who disappeared in 2011 at age 6.

Rini was given credit for 20 months time served so he will spend an additional four months behind bars and will then be on supervised release.

During sentencing, Rini apologized for his actions.

“I’m sorry for what I’ve done. I wish that I could take it back but can’t because it’s already done and that I’m sorry for the family,” Rini said.

“[Brian Rini caused an] enormous amount of unnecessary pain to the family. There’s a large law enforcement response to his lies. He needs to understand when he tells lies like this it does cause damage,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Healey said.

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Newport police responded to a call on April 3, 2019, in which the caller described Rini as wandering the street, looking confused and in need of assistance, court records show.

Rini allegedly told officers his name was Timmothy Pitzen and that he was abducted when he was 6-years-old and he “just wanted to go home,” federal officials said in a news release.

Local authorities confirmed that Timmothy’s name was associated with a missing and possibly abducted child.

Posing as Timmothy, Rini allegedly claimed he had recently escaped from a hotel room in which two men had been holding him captive.

He said he had been sexually and physically abused for years while in captivity and that he was having abdominal pain, according to federal authorities.

DNA test results confirmed Rini’s identity as a known felon who was released from an Ohio prison on March 7, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Southern District of Ohio.

Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office say further investigation by the FBI found that Rini had allegedly portrayed himself as a juvenile sex trafficking victim on two prior occasions. In those instances, he was only identified once he was fingerprinted.

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