Published Sept. 13 at 1:44 p.m., Updated with photos Sept. 15 at 8:29 p.m.
Written by Lauren Costa with reporting by Joseph Hutnak
During an initial appearance in Providence's U.S. District Court on Friday afternoon, U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan ordered Stephen Ardrey, 30, held without bail after charging him with one count each of transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and sex trafficking of a child.
The charges come after Ardrey was found walking on Nooseneck Hill Road in Coventry Thursday morning with 17-year-old Brittany Thompson of Medfield, MA. Thompson had been missing for nearly three days after she left Medfield Public Library with a man later identified as Ardrey.
Thursday's hearing began at 12:42 p.m. Friday and lasted just about 14 minutes. Ardrey, who appeared in court wearing a tan prison jumpsuit over his approximately 6-foot, heavyset frame, was appointed Public Defender Kevin Fitzgerald as counsel.
During the hearing, Magistrate Sullivan granted Prosecutor Adi Goldstein a motion to seal Ardrey's affidavit, making it only available to Fitzgerald and his colleagues who are also working on the case. In the motion to hold Ardrey without bail, Goldstein noted a history of sex offenses, including an arrest in Georgia in May 2007 that resulted in a charge of solicitation of prostitution, for which he was sentenced to 28 days in jail and 11 months of probation.
An additional factor in the decision to hold Ardrey, who lives in Springfield, MO, was the fact that he has no ties to Rhode Island where he was found in the company of Thompson.
Following the hearing, Goldstein declined further comment about the case to members of the media gathered outside of the courthouse.
Each of the two counts charged against Ardrey carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years with the possibility of life in prison.
No date has been set for a future hearing, and the location where Ardrey will be held has not been released.