Judge Orders Kidnap Victim Sent To Jail To Ensure That She Testifies


In an extraordinarily rare legal move, a Pennsylvania judge ordered an alleged kidnapping victim held behind bars to make sure she shows up at the suspect’s trial.

Faith Bronson, 34, of Scranton, was jailed on a material witness warrant on July 24, to ensure she would testify against her boyfriend, 44-year-old Ross Bonaddio.

“A judge can sign a material witness warrant to ensure the testimony of a material witness in a criminal trial,” veteran Seattle attorney and legal analyst Anne Bremner told The Huffington Post. “It doesn’t happen often, but it happens [and] the witness can be held indefinitely pending trial.”

According to court documents, Bronson allegedly made statements indicating that she wanted to recant her statements to police and would not cooperate with the prosecution. Those statements, and the prosecutions fear that she wouldn’t show up to court, prompted her arrest.

Bonaddio was arrested in the early morning hours of Jan. 27, after Bronson called police and told them she was being held captive by Bonaddio. When authorities arrived at Bonaddio’s Scranton home, they shot him with a stun gun and freed a naked and battered Bronson.

According to the New Pittsburgh Courier, Bronson told police that Bonaddio kept her locked inside his house and beat her because he was trying to exorcise aliens he believed were hidden inside her body.

Officers also found graffiti scrawled throughout the house, the Scranton Times-Tribune reported. The words, “Aliens in/out of human and animal bodies, Evil spirits enter invisible” were written on a basement wall.

Scranton police slapped Bonaddio — who reportedly has schizophrenia and suffers from hallucinations — with a slew of charges, including kidnapping, false imprisonment and attempted simple assault. He was ordered held in the Lackawanna County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Bronson remained in jail until Thursday, when Judge Richard Saxton modified the terms of her incarceration and ordered her held on house arrest. Per the terms of her bail, Bronson was also ordered to comply with all subpoenas related to the case against Bonaddio and to not have any contact with him.

Bronson did not respond to a request for comment from HuffPost on Monday.

The case against Bonaddio is scheduled to begin on September 7. While authorities can force Bronson to attend the trial, they cannot force her to testify, which Bremner says could ultimately undermine the prosecutions case.