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Pittsburgh-area man sentenced to 25-50 years for trying to kidnap 18-year-old jogger

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GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) -- A man convicted of trying to kidnap a young woman jogging in Ligonier Township earlier this year was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison on Friday. 

Frank Springer of Bolivar was found guilty of attempted homicide, attempted kidnapping, unlawful restraint, two counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, simple assault and terroristic threats after a trial in July. 

Before handing down the sentence, Judge Bilik-DeFazio told Springer that his case was one of the most puzzling and chilling cases she has presided over. She said she considered Springer to be a danger to the community because of the violent nature of the offense and a high risk to reoffend.

On the morning of Jan. 8, police said Springer tried to kidnap an 18-year-old woman who was running through Ligonier. The Westmoreland County District Attorney's Office said he followed her and attempted to abduct her in a remote area of Ligonier Township near Rector. 

The woman told officers Springer passed her on Route 381, turned around and stopped his vehicle. 

The woman told police Springer walked toward her with a gun and tried to get her to come with him by firing a shot near her. Police said Springer threw her phone into a creek and tried to force her into his car. 

The victim fought back and pushed the gun away as police said Springer fired several rounds. As she continued to fight, a passerby stopped to help and Springer ran. 

The jury deliberated for four hours before finding Springer guilty on all counts. At the time, District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli called the victim brave, saying she showed strength and willpower in fighting off her attacker and then testifying about it in court. 

"Today was not only justice and closure for the victim and her family, but it was justice and closure for this community whose sense of security was rattled since that day," Ziccarelli said in a news release on Friday.  "The lengthy sentence imposed by Judge Bilik-DeFazio against Mr. Springer is appropriate due to the serious nature of this crime. I continue to be impressed by the bravery, courage and resilience shown by this young woman and her family, and I hope this resolution helps her heal from this traumatic experience."  

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