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Dad gets prison for kidnapping son, fleeing by boat

ORLANDO — A Brevard County man who kidnapped his toddler son last year and sailed into the gulf from a St. Petersburg marina was sentenced to 30 months in prison in Orlando federal court Thursday.

Paul Martikainen, 36, pleaded guilty to a count of international parental kidnapping in February. He kidnapped his 3-year-old son, Luke Finch, Nov. 28 at a park in Cocoa.

Witnesses later reported seeing Martikainen and Luke at the St. Petersburg marina, beginning a massive two-day sea hunt.

The Coast Guard spotted the pair about 95 miles southwest of Sanibel Island.

Court documents said it appeared their sailboat was traveling toward Mexico, but Martikainen said Thursday he wanted to take his son fishing in the Keys.

Court records said Martikainen, who had little sailing experience, painted the boat gray to conceal it on the water.

Christa Finch, Luke's mother and Martikainen's ex-wife, told U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell that Martikainen abused their child and she fears he will try to kidnap Luke again.

In addition to prison time, Martikainen will serve one year of supervised release and 50 hours' community service.

Dad gets prison for kidnapping son, fleeing by boat 07/08/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 9, 2010 12:40am]

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