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Father Accused of Kidnapping Pleads Not Guilty

The man who allegedly stole a yacht in Alameda, abducted his two kids from South City and boated to Monterey appeared in court today.

Christopher Maffei, the man accused of stealing a yacht and abducting his two young children in September, pleaded not guilty at the San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City Thursday afternoon. 

Maffei made one request in court to modify the no contact and visitation order that currently prohibits him from seeing his children, Brooklynn, 3, and Devin, 2.

The judge said that an order was already in place addressing this issue with the San Mateo County family court, and he would defer to that court. 

Maffei faces 8 felony counts: two kidnapping, two child stealing, two child endangerment and one possession of the stolen boat.

The defendant allegedly abducted his two children, ages 2 and 3, Sept. 4 in the 100 block of James Court in South San Francisco and then drove in a rental car to Alameda where he stole a yacht and boated away with the kids.

The yacht was spotted about 50 miles off the coast from Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay Sept. 7 by the operator of a commercial fishing ship who notified the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard officials sent crews by air and by sea to find the yacht and eventually confronted the vessel near Monterey Bay and found Maffei and the two children safe on board the vessel.

Maffei appeared in court twice in September and spoke out on both occassions, saying that his children were being mistreated at home with their mother, Jennifer Hipon. The San Francisco Chronicle subsequently reported that Hipon was upset with his statements and denied any kind of mistreatment of the children.

According to court records, Maffei did have a history of previous lawsuits.

The preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 20 at 9 a.m., and the defendant remains in custody on bail of $500,000.

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