Local mom wants kidnapping laws changed after son lured from family home

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – One year after a Schenectady man pleaded guilty to using the promise of toys to lure a little boy away from his home, the child’s mother is working to change the definition of the law when it comes to the charge of kidnapping.

It’s been one year, but for Jessica Hotaling, the day her son Joey was lured away from his Schenectady home still has a grip on her.

After something like this happens as a parent you never put it out of your mind.”

While covering the story last year, Joey’s playmate Ashley Ellis told me about the promise the stranger made to them.

“He said there was a toy store down there,” Ellis said. “Then Joe-Joe went with him.”

Ashley ran for help, but for 30 minutes no one knew where Joey was.

“There were a few minutes where I never knew if I would see my son again and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody,” Hotaling said.

Finally, from inside a nearby vacant home, where the man had led him, Joey heard his father yelling from the street.

“He went to his dad and just went running out of the house,” Hotaling said.

Ex-con William Lindley was arrested. He pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. He spent extra time behind bars over a parole violation for a robbery in which the victim was stabbed.

Because the little boy was unharmed and found not to have been held against his will, the DA says he could not charge Lindley with kidnapping.

Disgusted and fearful for other children, Jessica has taken on her own personal mission to change the law, more specifically the definition of kidnapping in the 3rd degree.

It looks like Jessica is getting some help in her effort. She has met with Assemblyman Phil Steck. His office tells me they are currently looking at the kidnapping law and what changes can be made. They say things are very much in the infancy stages.

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