This week on 14 July, a federal grand jury has charged Mr. Brendt Christensen for the kidnap of Chinese research scholar Ms. Zhang Yingying.
Christensen’s lawyers have argued he had “no criminal history” and that he has “ties to the community” of Champagne, Illinois. Christensen’s lawyers are fighting for his right to take part in his own defence. The maximum penalty for kidnapping is life in prison.
Investigators are saying that Christensen is changing his story, in that he had originally told police he “couldn’t remember” what he was doing at the time of her disappearance, and that he was “probably playing computer games, all day”. Later, Christensen told police that he had been driving around the campus the day she disappeared and picked up an Asian female who “appeared distressed”.
It has been reported Christensen was caught on tape, while under police surveillance describing how Ms. Zhang fought with him and how he held her against her will. U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric I. Long ordered Christensen held in custody pending trial.