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Man Arraigned in Abduction of Real Estate Agent : Justice: In federal court, Michigan ex-convict enters not-guilty plea to charge of kidnaping Val Verde woman.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A Michigan man pleaded not guilty in federal court Monday to kidnaping a Val Verde real estate agent at gunpoint and leaving her tied up in an Arizona motel room two days later.

The man, Timothy Daniel Shue, 38, is accused of kidnaping Paula Harrington, 26, after posing as a prospective customer at the real estate office where she worked. He is also a suspect is several similar crimes nationwide, including the armed robbery and sexual battery of a Petaluma woman, who identified him Friday as her assailant.

Shue--dressed in a blue jail uniform--spoke in a low-pitched monotone, as he pleaded not guilty to one charge of kidnaping during his arraignment Monday in U.S. District Court.

Deputy Federal Public Defender Ellen Barry declined to comment on the charge against Shue.

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Shue is being held without bail and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. Magistrate Brian Robbins set his trial for Sept. 13.

Prosecutors allege that on June 29 Shue asked Harrington to show him some homes in Val Verde, a small community northwest of Santa Clarita. Shue reportedly kidnaped her after the pair looked at several homes.

Harrington was found the morning of July 1 tied up in a motel in Gila Bend, Ariz., a small town about 68 miles southwest of Phoenix. Shue was arrested July 6 in Ogden, Utah, after reportedly displaying a handgun to a topless dancer in a nightclub.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Debra Yang said his actions during the three-day incident--such as allegedly forcing Harrington to withdraw money using her ATM card--left behind a trail of evidence “that we will have to follow.”

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Allegations that Shue sexually assaulted Harrington, as well as his previous criminal history--including an armed robbery conviction in Michigan--could extend any sentence he receives, Yang said.

Shue is accused of similar crimes in Michigan, Ohio and Oregon and other states, with law enforcement agencies in many locations saying they intend to pursue charges against him at the conclusion of the federal case, Yang said.

The most recent allegations against Shue came Friday when a 20-year-old woman said he is the man who robbed her on June 27 at a formal wear store in Petaluma. Petaluma police said they believe Shue bound and gagged the woman, fondled her and then stole several hundred dollars in cash and property.

Shue’s alleged comments to the woman link him to a series of kidnapings, robberies and assaults, FBI and other law enforcement officials said.

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Petaluma Police Sgt. Chris Thurman said the FBI told Petaluma police officials about Shue on July 12.

But photos of him were not available for the victim to identify until Thursday because there were “so many agencies asking for his fingerprints and photos that it took some time,” he said.


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