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Police used "mind games" in hunt for US ex-marine and British schoolgirl
Yahoo News via Drudge ^ | July 17, 2003

Posted on 07/17/2003 7:01:17 AM PDT by Servant of the Nine

Police carrying out an international manhunt for a former US marine who vanished with a 12-year-old British girl used "mind games" devised by experts to secure her safe return home.

Toby Studabaker, 31, was arrested in the German city of Frankfurt Wednesday after disappearing with Shevaun Pennington, a case that sparked huge media attention.

The schoolgirl was safely returned to her parents in Manchester, northwest England, five days after running away to Paris with the former marine whom she met over the Internet.

Shevaun had been urged to return home in a series of press appeals designed by police psychologists, according to The Times, which like other British newspapers splashed the story across its front page.

Studabaker's arrest came after police sources revealed that child pornography had been downloaded from the Internet onto a computer used by the former soldier.

After consulting FBI psychologists as well as their own criminal profilers, Greater Manchester police had privately asked the media not to disclose the paedophile allegations against Studabaker, which they feared could alarm or endanger Shevaun, The Times reported.

Police also paid close attention to advice from psychologists who warned them that Shevaun was in love with the man she had spent hours conversing with her every day via her computer.

Anxious not to antagonise Studabaker, detectives asked the press not to reveal FBI evidence that, contrary to the claims of his relatives, the ex-marine was fully aware Shevaun was only 12 during a year-long internet realtionship, The Times said.

The media were also asked not to publish details of a police investigation into Studabakers alleged sexual assault of his 12-year-old niece and a complaint that he gave a nine-year-old girl some "sex lotion" five years ago.

The Daily Telegraph reported that detectives had been aiming to reassure Studabaker that his best option was to let Shevaun go home.

After parting from her in Stuttgart, the former marine, who served in Afghanistan, did not resist arrest as police vans blocked off escape routes near the US consulate in Frankfurt, The Times reported.

The paper added that Greater Manchester police had sent two officers to Germany to apply to the German courts for Studabaker's extradition to Britain.



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Germany; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: exmarine; kiddieporn; schoolgirl; studabaker

1 posted on 07/17/2003 7:01:18 AM PDT by Servant of the Nine
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To: Servant of the Nine
If true it would seem that the european media is more concerned with the safety of the victim than getting a big splashy story that might harm the victim.
2 posted on 07/17/2003 7:06:39 AM PDT by OldFriend ((Warpaint at the Ready!))
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To: All
A horse walks into a bar. The bartender comes up and says "Hey pal, what will it be?"

The horse orders a beer.

A few minutes later, John Kerry walks in and sits at the bar. The bartender walks up and says "Hey pal, cheer up. Why the long face?"

I'll stop if you guys will donate and get us over our fundraising goal

3 posted on 07/17/2003 7:07:22 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Servant of the Nine
.... a former US marine who vanished with a 12-year-old British girl ....

Will someone please tell me what this has to do with the story other than the visible display of the medias absolute hate for the military and willingness to go to any length to throw denigrating on the military at any cost.

4 posted on 07/17/2003 7:10:28 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: Servant of the Nine

Anxious not to antagonise Studabaker, detectives asked the press not to reveal FBI evidence that, contrary to the claims of his relatives, the ex-marine was fully aware Shevaun was only 12 during a year-long internet realtionship, The Times said.

The media were also asked not to publish details of a police investigation into Studabakers alleged sexual assault of his 12-year-old niece and a complaint that he gave a nine-year-old girl some "sex lotion" five years ago.

Just goes to show, you've really got to be careful when meeting in person people you've known only over the internet.  Fortunately for me, I've had much better luck.  In fact, I'm going to be meeting an internet friend for the first time today, and I think romance may be in the air.  I just need to find out what a "cybertransexual" is before my rendezvous.

Owl_Eagle
" WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
DIVERSITY IS STRENGTH"

5 posted on 07/17/2003 7:13:42 AM PDT by South Hawthorne ("Europeans lost the will to live the moral life long ago." - Ben Shapiro)
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To: SandRat
You're right--the only purpose to keep mentioning that is to smear the entire military. You wouldn't see a headline about Former Plumber Vanishes with Schoolgirl or Former Administrative Assistant Vanishes with Schoolgirl. Not news. But former military??? Well, it's obvious they're trying to paint the entire US military as a bunch of perverts.
6 posted on 07/17/2003 7:14:09 AM PDT by MightyMouseToSaveThe Day
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To: SandRat
Will someone please tell me what this has to do with the story other than the visible display of the medias absolute hate for the military and willingness to go to any length to throw denigrating on the military at any cost.

Studebaker had been coreresponding with her for a year while in the Marines. He went for her immediately upon discharge. It legitimately supplies context, besides bashing the military.

So9

7 posted on 07/17/2003 7:17:52 AM PDT by Servant of the Nine (A Goldwater Republican)
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To: Servant of the Nine
I still haven't read ANY story that alleges any illegal conduct by the "former marine." If the two of them didn't have sax and there was no violins associated with their trip to Paris, then what did he do that was illegal?

Further, the guy was making arrangements to turn himself in. Why did the POH-leece need "mind games?"

I also note that the media has "found" a more flattering and youthful picture of the girl to replace the first one in which she looked like a 22-year-old prostitute.

Michael

8 posted on 07/17/2003 7:18:21 AM PDT by Wright is right! (Have a profitable day!)
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To: Wright is right!
I still haven't read ANY story that alleges any illegal conduct by the "former marine." If the two of them didn't have sax and there was no violins associated with their trip to Paris, then what did he do that was illegal?

Convincing her to leave the country with him was Felony child endangerment.

So9

9 posted on 07/17/2003 7:20:52 AM PDT by Servant of the Nine (A Goldwater Republican)
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To: SandRat
Well, up until about three weeks ago, he was a current Marine, in Afghanistan. He couldn't go meet the girl until he was discharged.

Should they hide the fact that he's a Marine? They mention the professions of other child molestors. Priest. Camp Counselor. Teacher. Mayor of Waterbury, CT. On and on.

10 posted on 07/17/2003 7:26:59 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: Wright is right!
Sax and violins?
11 posted on 07/17/2003 7:29:44 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: Servant of the Nine
"Convincing her to leave the country with him was Felony child endangerment."

Who says he convinced her? What if the trip was HER romantic idea?

Michael

12 posted on 07/17/2003 7:30:17 AM PDT by Wright is right! (Have a profitable day!)
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To: Servant of the Nine
Convincing her to leave the country with him was Felony child endangerment.


Except for the fact that he did NOT leave anywhere with her!

She flew to him. and by the looks of her photo - you can't tell the age of her either
13 posted on 07/17/2003 7:32:26 AM PDT by steplock (www.FOCUS.GOHOTSPRINGS.com)
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To: Wright is right!
Who says he convinced her? What if the trip was HER romantic idea?

Are you slow? SHE IS 12 - she cannot decide to leave the country with a 30 year old. Next you will tell us she can consent to sex with him too?

14 posted on 07/17/2003 7:38:59 AM PDT by TheOtherOne
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To: steplock
Paris to Stuttgart. And in every picture I've seen of her, she looks like a twelve-year-old BOY.

The police have their emails. I'm reasonably sure they know by now whether he did or did not know her age in advance.
15 posted on 07/17/2003 7:39:42 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: TheOtherOne
"Are you slow? SHE IS 12 - she cannot decide to leave the country with a 30 year old."

What if she had left the country by herself? Assume for the moment that the guy doesn't exist. Are you saying that she couldn't travel with her own passport? Not all countries have laws requiring written parental permission for a minor to travel, ya know. Last I checked, England and France are not like Mexico.

Michael

16 posted on 07/17/2003 7:55:13 AM PDT by Wright is right! (Have a profitable day!)
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To: Servant of the Nine
Convincing her to leave the country with him was Felony child endangerment.

Under what country's laws? She left the UK, not the US, didn't she?

17 posted on 07/17/2003 7:55:39 AM PDT by The Electrician
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To: Wright is right!
What if she had left the country by herself?

But that is NOT what happened. She got on a plane with him and left the country. Go ahead and keep arguing how a 12 year old girl leaving her home and country to be with a 31 year old she met on the internet is her fault. If you don't see the crime on his part - my sympathies.

18 posted on 07/17/2003 8:00:58 AM PDT by TheOtherOne
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To: The Electrician
Convincing her to leave the country with him was Felony child endangerment.

Under what country's laws? She left the UK, not the US, didn't she?

He is being held for Brit Authorities by the Germans on Felony charges, I don't know exactly what they style it, but it is equivilent of our Felony Child Endangerment.

So9

19 posted on 07/17/2003 8:01:03 AM PDT by Servant of the Nine (A Goldwater Republican)
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To: TheOtherOne
I believe she got on a plane and met him in Paris. But it really makes no difference, if he invited her and knew how young she was. Really, what are the chances of any man being falsely accused of this sort of thing three times in five years? Some people need to wake up and smell the coffee.
20 posted on 07/17/2003 8:08:19 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: TheOtherOne
"But that is NOT what happened. She got on a plane with him and left the country. Go ahead and keep arguing how a 12 year old girl leaving her home and country to be with a 31 year old she met on the internet is her fault. If you don't see the crime on his part - my sympathies."

I believe you're missing the point here. What I am saying is that NONE of the NEWS stories have indicated any criminal activity - not that there hasn't BEEN any. In fact, until today, none of the NEWS stories have said what he was charged with. Just that he had been arrested.

In fact, the news media coverage of this story has been quite shabby to say the least. First, we're told that the couple hung around in the beyond-passport-control Transit Area of CDG for a couple of hours after which she flew back home and he went to Germany. Then we're told that, no, she DIDN'T fly home. Then we find out that she DID fly home, just not when earlier reports said. And we learn that his family says he didn't know she was 12, but "fishals" say he DID. And, as if by magic, someone finds "child porn" on a computer he had access to.

Sorry, good friend, but this story is not being well-reported and there are a lot of holes in its reportage. I never said that the incident "was her fault." What I've said is that there seem to be few hard facts in the story from which to draw conclusions. Expecially since "child porn" can be a picture of a topless 17-year-and-364-day-old teenager. Not exactly a "child." Or did the girl email HIM pictures of herself? Those details are not in the story.

Also not in the latest stories is the fact that the two prior incidents involved charges being dropped. Michael

21 posted on 07/17/2003 8:22:23 AM PDT by Wright is right! (Have a profitable day!)
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To: Wright is right!
I think the news does describe a crime, but there is no need to debate the point.

Check out the info on his previous 'situations'

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/doc_o_day/doc_o_day.html

22 posted on 07/17/2003 8:25:39 AM PDT by TheOtherOne
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To: OldFriend
Sounds like they handled that very professionally. With something like that it is OK to play with the truth because in the end there is no intention to deceive and the truth will emerge. The only lying is the refusal to feed the media frenzy that could endanger those involved.
23 posted on 07/17/2003 9:31:27 AM PDT by GranpaVet
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To: SandRat
Very good point. The man does dishonor the corps BUT he is not representative of it. I wonder if he played on his military experience in his seduction? Anyway - you are right. It is a titilating anti-military irrelevancy.
24 posted on 07/17/2003 9:34:26 AM PDT by GranpaVet
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To: Wright is right!
She is a CHILD. No matter how seductive she may be. She is a child and it sounds like (so far as we know of course) that he knew this. And of course they played "mind-games" - their priority was her safe return.
25 posted on 07/17/2003 9:36:50 AM PDT by GranpaVet
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To: Wright is right!
I believe you're missing the point here. What I am saying is that NONE of the NEWS stories have indicated any criminal activity - not that there hasn't BEEN any. In fact, until today, none of the NEWS stories have said what he was charged with. Just that he had been arrested.

Just so:

Thursday July 17, 8:03 PM

German prosecutors have established no grounds to charge a former US marine with the intent to sexually abuse a 12-year-old British girl with whom he fled to France and then to Germany last weekend.

A spokeswoman said Thursday that Toby Studabaker had so far been charged only with abducting Shevaun Pennington on Saturday, after the pair allegedly built up a relationship over a year through the Internet.

The spokeswoman added that Studabaker was not suspected of a more serious charge of child abduction with intent to commit sexual abuse.

Police in his home state of Michigan have said he does not figure on its Public Sex Offender Registry, indicating no criminal record for sexual abuse.

Studabaker was due to face a German judge to determine whether his arrest in the city of Frankfurt on Wednesday conformed to German law, to verify his identity and to read him an international arrest warrant issued from London.

The spokeswoman said that if Studabaker accepted a demand from Britain for his extradition then the case in Germany could be closed within a few days, however it could drag on for much longer if he were to seek to oppose it.

The 31-year-old Afghan war veteran was picked up in Frankfurt following an operation by British, French and German police, Interpol and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

He was questioned Thursday by British police, prosecutors said.

The young girl, meanwhile, was reunited with her parents in an emotional homecoming on Wednesday after a five-day escapade that saw the two fly from Manchester to Paris and then move on to Germany.

Studabaker's arrest came after police sources revealed that child pornography had been downloaded from the Internet onto his computer, information reportedly withheld so as not to jeopardise the investigation.

Police also said they had evidence he was aware of Shevaun's real age, despite his claims in calls to his family in the United States that he had thought she was 19.

Frankfurt police said the girl had already boarded an aircraft and was on her way from Stuttgart back to Britain when they picked Studabaker up.

She was still with her parents in northern England Thursday but was being kept away from both the family home near Manchester and the media spotlight.

Specially trained police officers hoped to speak to her later in the day to find out where she had been in the days between her disappearance and phoning home on Wednesday to say she was on her way back.

Detectives have been able to use the pair's mobile phone signals to trace where they called from early Wednesday, when Studabaker also called the FBI.

But it remains unclear how they got to Germany from France.

Studabaker has been described as a devout Christian who attended a bible college in Ohio from 1993 to 1994. His wife Jenny died of cancer last year. The couple were childless, according to family.

He grew up in Constantine, Michigan, where he trained in martial arts and was a keen American football player. He was decorated after serving with the marines in Afghanistan but left the military in June with a shoulder injury.


26 posted on 07/17/2003 9:45:47 AM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: Servant of the Nine
Studabaker's arrest came after police sources revealed that child pornography had been downloaded from the Internet onto a computer used by the former soldier

Whoops! Shoulda reformatted that HD several times before he left. Details, details!< /sarcasm>

I can't think of any scum much lower than a pedophile...except perhaps one who has also dishonored the U.S. Marine Corps. He should be shot. Failing that, he should be sterilized and incarcerated for life.

27 posted on 07/17/2003 9:48:13 AM PDT by Aracelis
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To: archy
Thanks. That is certainly a more fact-filled report than the earlier stories.

Michael

28 posted on 07/17/2003 10:01:19 AM PDT by Wright is right! (Have a profitable day!)
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To: Owl_Eagle
lol. Yipes!
29 posted on 07/17/2003 10:12:46 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (this space intentionally blank)
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To: GranpaVet
It was nice to know that there are some in the media, somewhere in the world that really care about the lives of those that would be jeopardized by their frenzies.
30 posted on 07/17/2003 10:19:17 AM PDT by OldFriend ((Warpaint at the Ready!))
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To: Owl_Eagle
In fact, I'm going to be meeting an internet friend for the first time today, and I think romance may be in the air. I just need to find out what a "cybertransexual" is before my rendezvous.

LOL---please be sure to make sure your 'strapped' when you meet the freaky.(Do they have CCW Laws in Penn.?)

31 posted on 07/17/2003 12:03:42 PM PDT by Pagey (Hillary Rotten is a Smug, Holier - Than - Thou Socialist)
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To: TheOtherOne
I tried to look at this and the link from the home page states that it is to the ex-marine abductor's troubled past, but it takes me to another link. I guess it may have been taken down. Did you by chance happen to save it anywhere? I would be interested to see it. Thanks
32 posted on 07/17/2003 7:35:13 PM PDT by Ciganina
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To: Ciganina
They moved it here

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/studabaker1.html
33 posted on 07/17/2003 7:51:55 PM PDT by TheOtherOne
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