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Press Release

Indiana Man Sentenced to 38 Years in Federal Prison for Kidnapping a Child in Chicago Suburb

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A federal judge today sentenced an Indiana man to 38 years in federal prison for kidnapping a ten-year-old child as she walked home from school in Calumet City.

On the afternoon of Dec. 20, 2017, BRYAN PROTHO grabbed the child as she walked on a sidewalk in the south suburb.  Protho forcibly dragged the victim into a sport-utility vehicle and drove away.  He then parked the vehicle in a nearby alley, assaulted the child, and threatened to kill her.  The victim was able to get out of the car and flag down a passing vehicle, and law enforcement was contacted.

A jury last year convicted Protho, 42, of East Chicago, Ind., on one count of kidnapping.  During a two-week trial in federal court in Chicago, the victim testified about her ordeal and identified Protho as her abductor.

U.S. District Judge Andrea R. Wood sentenced Protho to 38 years in prison, to be followed by 15 years of court-supervised release.

The Calumet City Police Department led the investigation, with assistance from the Chicago FBI Field Office and the Lansing Police Department.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Christopher Fletcher, Chief of the Calumet City Police Department; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and Richard Slough, Interim Chief of the Lansing Police Department.

“As this innocent child skipped home from school with dreams of the upcoming Christmas break in her head, Protho attacked and forever changed the life of this bright child,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher V. Parente and Kelly Guzman argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.  “He is the worst kind of predator – a child predator.”

Updated March 17, 2021

Violent Crime