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Man Convicted Of Kidnapping Daughter Gets 40 Years

Last updated on Wednesday, February 20, 2013

(HAMMOND) - A Kansas man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for forcibly taking his adult daughter from Missouri to his property in Michigan because he was upset she was dating an older man.

Martin Jonassen of Elwood, Kan., was convicted of kidnapping and obstruction of justice in U.S. District Court in Hammond in July. The Times of Munster reports Jonassen described himself as a "sovereign citizen," who doesn't recognize government authority. He represented himself at trial.

Jonassen was arrested in September 2011 after his naked daughter escaped from a hotel in Portage, 10 miles east of Gary, and ran to a nearby liquor store to beg for help.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Koster says the obstruction charge stemmed from Jonassen's attempts to persuade his daughter to not testify.

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