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Kidnapping Charge Withdrawn in Amber Alert Incident

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WILKES-BARRE -- The man police accused of kidnapping a 16-year-old girl in Wilkes-Barre over the summer is no longer facing charges of kidnapping.

Prosecutors in Luzerne County say they had no choice but to withdraw the kidnapping charge filed against Walter Lewis.

The move came shortly after the victim, Jenea Patterson, 16, exclaimed in court that she loved Lewis and wanted him freed.

Walter Lewis was brought to his preliminary hearing on charges connected to that incident in July that triggered an Amber Alert.

Authorities said Lewis kidnapped Jenea Patterson from in front of her home in Wilkes-Barre.

Prosecutors withdrew the kidnapping charge Wednesday morning because Patterson has claimed for months that she wasn't actually kidnapped.

Just before the hearing started, she was overheard saying that she loves Lewis and that he is her boyfriend.

Her parents and the prosecutors are stunned over her actions.

"It is unfortunate and it's very frustrating," said Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Jenny Roberts. "Law enforcement officers put in a lot of time and effort on the night, into the next day, when this incident occurred based upon the allegations and the evidence that we had for a kidnapping."

"My nerves are shot and I don't think this is fair!" said the victim's mother Cyndi Angeles. "I don't know, it's just craziness."

Even though the kidnapping charge was withdrawn, Walter Lewis still faces several other charges, including making terroristic threats, simple assault, and gun charges. Those were sent to county court.