Rhode Island Kidnapping/Abducting Laws

Kidnapping is the crime of taking a person against their will to an undisclosed location.  This may be done for ransom or in furtherance of another crime, or in connection with a child custody dispute.

According to the laws of Rhode Island, whoever, without lawful authority, forcibly or secretly:

  • confines or imprisons another person within Rhode Island against his or her will, or
  • forcibly carries or sends another person out of the state, or
  • forcibly seizes or
  • confines or inveigles or kidnaps another person with intent either to cause him or her to be secretly confined or
  • imprisoned within this state or sent out of this state

shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) years[i].

Whoever, without lawful authority, forcibly or secretly confines or imprisons any child under the age of sixteen (16) years:

  • within this state against the child’s will, or
  • forcibly carries or sends the child out of this state, or
  • forcibly seizes, confines, inveigles, or kidnaps the child with intent either to cause the child to be secretly confined or imprisoned within this state against his or her will, or
  • with the intent of sexually assaulting or molesting the child or
  • with the intent to abuse the child

shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for life or for any term not less than twenty years. However, nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to make the reasonable lawful acts of a parent in caring for his or her child a violation of this section[ii].

Further, if a person commits kidnapping with intent to extort money or other valuable thing shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for life or for any term not less than five (5) years[iii].

[i] R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-26-1

[ii] R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-26-1.4

[iii] R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-26-2


Inside Rhode Island Kidnapping/Abducting Laws