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Northridge girl was kidnapped at knife point, prosecutors say

April 03, 2013|By Richard Winton
  • The LAPD released this mug shot of Tobias Dustin Summers over the weekend. The suspect in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a Northridge 10-year-old is described as a white male, 160 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes.
The LAPD released this mug shot of Tobias Dustin Summers over the weekend.… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

A 10-year-old girl was kidnapped from her Northridge bedroom at knife point by a burglar who then repeatedly sexually assaulted her during a 12-hour ordeal, according to charges prosecutors filed Wednesday.

Fugitive Tobias Dustin Summers, 32, who was charged in his absence, faces 36 sexual assault charges as well as kidnapping and first-degree burglary charges, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. If convicted, he faces multiple life terms in prison.

The felony complaint for the first time details a violent 12 hours for the girl, who vanished from her unlocked Northridge home in the middle of the night March 27. The 10-year-old was discovered missing at 3:40 a.m. by her mother after she heard a sound and went to investigate.

The girl was dropped off about 12 hours later in a Woodland Hills parking lot.

The complaint alleges that Summers broke into the home and used a knife to abduct the girl. He remains at large, and authorities have broadened their search to San Diego.

Los Angeles police said in a statement Wednesday that the girl was taken to an abandoned home.

The filing of charges could make it easier for authorities to extradite Summers if he flees to Mexico or into other states.

Prosecutors also charged Daniel Martinez, 29, with felony counts of kidnapping a minor under the age of 14 and first-degree burglary. He is considered a secondary suspect. Martinez was arrested Sunday about two miles from the girl's home. If convicted, he faces up to 12 years in prison.

Law enforcement sources told The Times the March 27 incident was believed to have begun as a "hot prowl" burglary. Authorities did not immediately disclose how or why it escalated, though sources said Martinez was not believed to have initiated the kidnapping or participated in the assault. Police believe he was the getaway driver.

Court records show that both men have extensive criminal histories, though authorities said neither is a registered sex offender. Most of the crimes they were convicted of occurred in the San Fernando Valley. 

Summers has convictions for receiving stolen property, grand theft, petty theft, possession of an explosive and presenting false identity to police, records show. In 2009, he was convicted of battery. Originally, he was also charged with annoying a child, but that charge was dismissed.

Between 2004 and 2012, Martinez was convicted of burglary, petty theft, grand theft, resisting a police officer and unlawfully entering a property, records show. In April 2012, he was convicted of threats of death or great bodily injury.

It's unclear exactly how long either suspect has spent behind bars. But it appears Summers received an eight-month prison sentence in the petty theft case, and Martinez was sentenced to 16 months in prison in the grand theft case.

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andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

kate.mather@latimes.com

richard.winton@latimes.com

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richard.winton@latimes.com

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