Mom sen­tenced for tak­ing Ohio teen to be friend for son

Dayton Daily News - - LOCAL & STATE - By Adam Fer­rise

A Mas­sachusetts CLEVE­LAND — mother will pay more than $11,000 in fines and serve one year on pro­ba­tion for pick­ing up a 17-year-old girl in Parma and driv­ing her back to her Salem home so her son could have a friend, pros­e­cu­tors said.

Re­nee Hanson, 44, in­structed the girl to not tell any­one and hid her in­side her car when she crossed state lines while Parma po­lice and the FBI scoured the area to try to find the girl.

Hanson — who pre­vi­ously pleaded guilty to in­ter­fer­ence with cus­tody, in­duc­ing panic and ob­struct­ing jus­tice, all fifth-de­gree felonies — cried Wed­nes­day dur­ing her sen­tenc­ing hear­ing in front Cuya­hoga County Com­mon Pleas Judge Joseph Russo. She said she made a re­gret­table mis­take.

“I didn’t think it through,” Hanson said. “I’m sorry for what I did. I wasn’t try­ing to hurt any­body. It was def­i­nitely poor judg­ment on my part.”

Hanson will pay $6,600 to Parma po­lice and $4,500 to the teen’s fam­ily for the money they spent try­ing to find the girl, who was miss­ing for 6 days.

As­sis­tant Cuya­hoga County Pros­e­cu­tor Jen­nifer Driscoll said Hanson also sent the teen a cell­phone so they could com­mu­ni­cate in se­cret and lied to in­ves­ti­ga­tors who ini­tially asked her if she had any con­tact with the girl.

“I take of­fense to the fact that she char­ac­ter­ized it as a mis­take,” Driscoll said dur­ing the hear­ing. “We want to point out the egre­gious­ness of her ac­tions. To min­i­mize it as an over­sight is of­fen­sive.”

The teen’s par­ents said af­ter the hear­ing that they had hoped for some jail time.

“I’m pray­ing that she screws up on pro­ba­tion so she gets some time,” the girl’s fa­ther said. “She sick­ens me. She preyed on a vul­ner­a­ble girl.”

The girl’s mother said the six-day search for her daugh­ter was bru­tal on the fam­ily.

“It’s ev­ery par­ents big­gest fear,” she said. “We’re very for­tu­nate that Parma po­lice found her so quickly.”

The teen and Hanson’s 19-year-old son, Michael Julien, met each other via the app Party in My Dorm, an on­line game in which play­ers chose char­ac­ters and in­ter­act with other play­ers in a vir­tual col­lege cam­pus.

Both pros­e­cu­tors and de­fense at­tor­neys de­scribed both Julien and the teen as shy and lon­ers. They com­mu­ni­cated with each other on­line for sev­eral years, Driscoll said.

At some point, Hanson be­came aware that her son and the teen had been talk­ing. In Jan­uary, Hansen mailed her a cell­phone so they could talk with­out de­tec­tion by the teen’s par­ents.

Hansen then drove to Parma on March 4, on the teen’s birth­day. Her par­ents said they took their daugh­ter for a cel­e­bra­tory birth­day break­fast.

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