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Parents Accused of Lying Over Child Disappearance In Court

Updated:
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A couple accused of lying to investigators
about the disappearance of their 5-month-old daughter pleaded
innocent today in federal court.
Steve and Marlene Aisenberg are charged with conspiracy and
lying about the Nov. 24, 1997, disappearance of daughter Sabrina.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Pizzo set a tentative trial date
sometime in December and an Oct. 15 hearing on a potential conflict
of interest for one lawyer to represent both husband and wife. "I
strongly encourage you to get separate counsel," Pizzo told the
Aisenbergs.
The Aisenbergs were arrested Sept. 9 at their new home in
Bethesda, Md. They moved to Maryland last spring from Brandon, a
suburb 15 miles south of Tampa.
In an indictment last month, investigators said they had taped
conversations between the parents discussing Sabrina after her
disappearance. Mrs. Aisenberg stated the baby was dead and she
blamed her husband, according to the charges. The couple also
allegedly talked about what to tell authorities and about faking a
kidnapping.
No body has been found and investigators said they still don't
know where the child is or what happened to her.
While the case remains a missing-person investigation,
authorities say they fear the baby is dead, though the Aisenbergs
have not been charged with murder or kidnapping.
Aisenberg, 36, is charged in five counts; Mrs. Aisenberg, also
36, is charged in six counts. If convicted he would face a maximum
of 25 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine and she would face
up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.
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