German man charged with luring Florida girl overseas

Saturday, February 3rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) _ A man accused of luring a Florida teen-ager to Greece over the Internet was charged Saturday with kidnapping and sexual assault.

Konstantin Baehring, 35, a German who lives in Greece, was arrested Thursday after an international police investigation into the disappearance five months ago of the 15-year-old from Mulberry, Fla.

Baehring claimed he did nothing wrong. ``I love the girl and we want to get married,'' he said before his arraignment.

The girl was released from protective custody to her mother and U.S. consular officials Saturday.

``It's important to send a message to all people (like) Baehring that he and all others connected to this scheme shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,'' said Lindsay's mother, Stephanie Lavoie.

U.S. authorities believe Baehring contacted the teen-ager via the Internet and arranged for her to leave the country with a passport bearing a different name. Two others suspected of helping Baehring have been arrested in Ohio and Florida.

Baehring was charged with abduction of a minor with malicious intent as well as sexual assault and exposing a minor to improper material. He also faces U.S. charges of interfering with parental custody.