GRAND ISLAND, Nebraska (ABC4) — An Arizona man who was accused of kidnapping a Utah teenager last December has pleaded not guilty to his charges in Hall County, Nebraska.
Tadashi Kura Kojima, 26, of Tuscon, Arizona, pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of third-degree sexual assault, and one count of resisting arrest at the District Court of Hall County on Tuesday, March 7.
In addition to those charges, Kojima was also indicted federally in January 2023 with kidnapping and transportation with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, according to court documents. The 11 felony charges filed against him in Davis County, Utah, have been dismissed without prejudice on Feb. 22.
Kojima, also known as Aaron Michael Zeman, is accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old boy from Layton, Utah after the two allegedly became acquainted on the internet.
Layton police issued an AMBER Alert on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, for the missing 13-year-old boy believed to have been abducted by Kojima.
The next day, authorities found Kojima and the missing boy at a gas station in Grand Island, Nebraska, approximately 11 hours away from Utah, at about 3 a.m. local time. Officers from the Grand Island Police Department arrested Kojima and worked with Layton police to reunite the boy with his family.
According to the affidavit, the boy’s father informed police that the 13-year-old was having “sexual and inappropriate” conversations with a man believed to be Kojima through an online game platform.
Kojima is scheduled for a pretrial conference on May 8, 2023. A jury session is set for June 12, 2023.