'Clark Rockefeller' charged with using false name
BOSTON -- A man calling himself Clark Rockefeller, who is accused of kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter and is being investigated in a California couple's disappearance, was charged Wednesday with giving a false name to police.
Investigators say Rockefeller is really German citizen Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who came to the United States as a high school student in 1978 and has been living under aliases ever since.
The new charge was added during a brief appearance by Gerhartsreiter in Boston Municipal Court. He remains jailed without bail after pleading not guilty to charges of kidnapping a minor relative, assault and battery, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Gerhartsreiter's lawyer said his client did nothing wrong by identifying himself to police in the kidnapping case as Clark Rockefeller, a name he had used for years, including during his marriage.
"The DA can call him anything he wants, but he knows himself as Clark Rockefeller," attorney Stephen Hrones said. "They are desperate to come up with more charges."
Dressed in orange jumpsuit pants, a white long-sleeved undershirt and tasseled leather shoes, an unshaven Gerhartsreiter appeared downcast and rumpled during the court hearing. He remained silent throughout the five-minute hearing.
Hrones said his client's time in jail has been difficult. He said Gerhartsreiter, 47, has an "outgoing personality" and has focused on a book he is writing about the Treaty of Versailles and the founding of the state of Israel. He also described his client as a "Trekkie" and said friends have sent "Star Trek" books to his jail cell.
Police say Gerhartsreiter kidnapped his young daughter off a Boston street during a supervised visit in July after losing custody to his ex-wife, Sandra Boss. He was arrested last month in Baltimore where authorities said he fled with the daughter, Reigh Boss, hoping to start a new life. The girl was found unharmed.
California authorities also say Gerhartsreiter is a "person of interest" in the 1985 disappearance of Jonathan and Linda Sohus. Gerhartsreiter rented a guesthouse at the home of Jonathan Sohus' mother in San Marino, a wealthy Los Angeles suburb.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)