SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The man accused of kidnapping Charlotte Moccia yesterday pleaded not guilty in court today.
A mental health evaluation was ordered by the judge, who noted past restraining orders in Miguel Rodriguez's files.
Those files have been impounded, but Western Mass News was able to learn more about Rodriguez's mental health past exclusively from his family.
We spoke with the sister of Miguel Rodriguez, who asked that we not show her face on camera.
She tells Western Mass News that her family tried for years to get Miguel help for his mental illnesses, but she feels no one took their pleas seriously until it was too late.
"Miguel did have a history of schizophrenia, paranoia, and he would have very weird behavior in the house," Miguel's sister explained.
For the last two years, the sister of Miguel Rodriguez noticed her brother's behavior was getting worse.
"He’ll speak by himself, you’ll hear commotion in the room where he was staying at, and you go up and he says nothing's going on," stated Miguel's sister.
Rodriguez is accused of kidnapping 11-year-old Charlotte Moccia Wednesday from Springfield.
His sister says Rodriguez frequently caused problems inside their home.
"Multiple times, cops have come here, because of him and they didn’t take it, they didn’t take us serious," says Miguel's sister.
She said another sibling requested a restraining order against Miguel and she says he was prescribed medication that frequently went untouched.
"He was not medicating himself. We tried. I want people to understand and know that my mom has tried various times to get him Rogers Orders to control him," continued Miguel's sister.
Rogers Guardianship in Massachusetts allows a family member or other guardian to agree to treatment on behalf of an incapacitated adult.
Rodriguez's sister tells Western Mass News they were denied that guardianship, despite multiple hospitalizations.
"Last time with the hospital, before he got let go and released, and i said please don’t release him he is not mentally stable. I’m not using this as an excuse because there’s no excuses. All we want is that he get treated, he does if he needs to get sentenced we are all right with that," said Miguel's sister.
Rodriguez's sister says in light of everything, her family would like to apologize and that her heart goes out to the family of 11-year-old Charlotte Moccia.
"I’m a mother of four girls. I have nieces and I put myself in that mother's shoes and then that little girl's shoes," added Miguel's sister.
Miguel Rodriguez is primarily charged with kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, and intimidation of a witness.
A dangerousness hearing for Rodriguez is scheduled to take place on January 22.
He is being held without bail.