A hearing for a former northern Utah man charged with kidnapping and white slavery has been delayed to give defense attorneys time to gather more information about the ages of the alleged victims.
Ren Men, 35, pleaded innocent in April to one count of kidnapping and two counts of transporting minors across state lines for sexual purposes in April.He had been scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing Tuesday before U.S. District Judge David Winder.
But defense attorney James Barber asked for a continuance after Men told the judge the alleged victims had told him they were over 18 before he took them to California. Winder scheduled a new hearing on July 11.
Men is charged with kidnapping a 15-year-old Ogden girl in July 1986 and taking her to Modesto, Calif.
According to federal agents, the girl was held against her will for about eight weeks until she was located by her parents and Modesto police.
Men also is charged with taking another 15-year-old Ogden girl to Long Beach, Calif., in August 1988. Federal agents said the girl was held for about a month before she slipped away and called her parents.
Winder said he is unwilling to accept a guilty plea as long as the defendant maintains he thinks the girls were of legal age.
Barber asked for additional time in order to review a transcript taken from a police interview in Tremonton that shed more light on the age issue, or at least to talk to the police officer who conducted the interview.
Men was arrested in Fresno, Calif., in March after being profiled on the television program "America's Most Wanted."