SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The trial of the man accused of kidnapping a girl in Springfield more than three years ago began Wednesday morning.

Miguel Rodriguez was in court in Springfield Wednesday morning, as he has been accused of kidnapping and raping an 11-year-old girl.

The prosecutors say that the victim was walking home from her bus stop in Springfield when she was abducted in January 2020. The victim was found hours later and miles away on the Mass Pike in Sturbridge after an amber alert was put out.

Rodriguez has been held at the state’s mental hospital since his arrest. Now a judge will decide whether he will stay in the same mental hospital, or be sentenced to prison.

In opening statements Wednesday morning, the state’s lawyer argued that Rodriguez planned out the attack for days. They said that he had a knife, and sexually assaulted the victim multiple times during the hour-long ordeal, threatening to kill her if she tried to get away.

The defense is arguing that Rodriguez was in the middle of a Schizophrenic episode, and shouldn’t be held criminally responsible.

“He did not act on a spontaneous urge without thinking about the consequences. He knew exactly what he was doing. He practiced. He planned. He calculated the outcomes He scouted the day before, and he planned from what he planned to do,” said Amy Wilson, Prosecution.

“Schizophrenia drove Mr. Rodriguez to do these acts. It created in his mind an irresistible impulse and rendered him unable to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law” said Defense Attorney Lawrence Madden.

Rodriguez chose to have a bench trial, meaning there is no jury. The judge will be the only person to rule on this case.

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