Nathan Portnoy of Falls Church, Va., hailed as a hero during June's derecho storm, now accused of kidnapping a 12-year-old for sex

5:04 PM, Sep 4, 2012   |    comments
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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA)-   A man hailed as a hero just two months ago in Falls Church, Virginia, for attempting to rescue an electrocution victim during the June derecho storm, now stands accused of kidnapping a 12-year-old he met online for sex in Montgomery County, Maryland.

On Tuesday, supporters of 23-year-old Nathan Portnoy, a National Guardsman who served in Iraq, filled a Rockville courtroom in hopes he would be released on bail.

Portnoy's lawyer says the victim in the case was posing as an adult online -- and that Portnoy was fooled.

Portnoy is accused of meeting a 12-year-old girl for sex in Montgomery County after months of online video chatting.  The couple visited a park to play soccer then returned to her home, according to testimony at his bail hearing.  The girl got out of Portnoy's 1993 Jeep Cherokee.  Portnoy was then pursued by the girl's sister and her boyfriend.  Portnoy is accused of brandishing a pistol during the car pursuit.

Police seized a handgun, ammunition, flex cuffs and a ski mask during the investigation, according to court documents.

Portnoy's attorney says Portnoy owns the gun legally and the items were in his car because he had recently completed military police training.

More than a dozen neighbors, family and fellow soldiers turned up to support Portnoy who was recognized by Fairfax County officials as a citizen hero for attempting to revive a man who had been electrocuted by downed wires in Falls Church during the derecho storm in June.

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