Woman charged with sex assault in kidnap

Posted: May 01, 2013

The woman accused of abducting a 5-year-old girl from a West Philadelphia public school and sexually assaulting her has been indicted by a Philadelphia County grand jury on involuntary deviant sexual intercourse and aggravated assault charges.

Christina Regusters, 20, was also charged with several more offenses related to the assault in an indictment announced during a status hearing in Common Pleas Court Monday afternoon before Judge Charles A. Ehrlich.

"These charges are very serious and very meaningful," said Thomas R. Kline, the lawyer representing the girl's mother. If Regusters gets convicted in her upcoming trial, "These charges would put her away for the rest of her life," Kline said.

The alleged victim in the case, now 6 years old, was abducted from Bryant School on Jan. 14 and sexually assaulted in a nearby house in Cobbs Creek. She was found the next day in an Upper Darby park wearing only a T-shirt.

Regusters allegedly dressed in Muslim garb and walked in the classroom to abduct the girl, posing as her mother.

Regusters was arrested and charged on Feb. 14, but the District Attorney chose to use the Grand Jury to charge her through an indictment, allowing for witnesses to testify in secret rather than in open court.

W. Fred Harrison Jr., the lawyer representing Regusters, said his client intends to plead not guilty.

"There's still a long road to go," Harrison said. "We still don't have any information at all. We've just been given an indictment. We don't even have a copy of the indictment."

Kline said there are other people involved in the abduction and assault. He said the alleged victim is receiving education at an undisclosed school. He said the 6-year-old will have "physical and emotional scars for the rest of her life."

Harrison suggested someone else, not his client, is responsible for the crime.

Regusters' has a formal arraignment scheduled for 11 a.m. May 20.

Contact Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman at sabdur-rahman@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @sabdurr.

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