Charges facing accused child abductor Ernesto Gonzalez were dismissed on Thursday. Credit: Metro file photo
An Essex Superior Court judge on Thursday dismissed the charges against a Lynn man who has been in jail or mental facilities for more than five years after he allegedly abducted his still missing son.
Ernesto Gonzalez was accused by authorities of parental kidnapping and misleading authorities, but those charges were dismissed after Gonzalez's lawyers argued that he was not competent to stand trial and served more than half of the maximum sentence (10 years) if he were convicted.
"We're pleased with judge's decision and I think he spent a lot of time reviewing a lot of information and applied the law," said Attorney Lance Sobelman.
Gonzalez was accused of kidnapping his son Giovanni during a visit in 2008. The then-5-year-old boy hasn't been found.
Despite the dismissal, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said the work to find Giovanni would continue.
"While the charges related to Giovanni’s disappearance have been dismissed, our efforts to locate him will continue," Blodgett said in a statement. "We have and will follow up on any and all leads presented to us."
While the charges have been dismissed, Gonzalez still faces assault charges for incidents involving jail guards and other inmates. He is still being held without bail and will be until April 16 when he is due back in court for those charges, Sobelman said.
Gonzalez is currently being held in Bridgewater State Hospital.
When asked to describe how Gonzalez felt about the dismissal, Sobelman wasn't sure if Gonzalez could understand what took place.
"He just has serious mental health issues. I do not even know if he was able to probably comprehend what happened [Thursday]," Sobelman said.