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House to discuss prosecutor protection bill

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Frank Janssen was kidnapped from his Wake Forest home on April 5. Frank Janssen was kidnapped from his Wake Forest home on April 5.

In a move to protect prosecutors, the North Carolina House will debate a bill that would keep personal information off of websites.

The bill was triggered in April after a Wake Forest man, the father of a Wake County assistant district attorney, was kidnapped from his home and held prisoner for five days by a group of people working for a convict.

The suspects forced their way into Frank Janssen’s home where they pistol-whipped, tased, and abducted him.

Prosecutors said Kelvin Melton, who's serving a life sentence at the Polk Correctional Institution, orchestrated the kidnapping from inside prison. Melton was prosecuted in 2012 by Janssen’s daughter. He allegedly asked friends to take revenge against her.

Documents said the group used an internet search to track down Janssen’s Wake Forest home. The group was actually looking for ADA Colleen Janssen and not her father.

After Janssen was found, lawmakers came up with a bill that would keep much of their personal information off websites and other public databases.

"It’s a step in the right direction," said prosecutor Jeff Cruden. "It will make it harder for them to be able to find people that do this kind of work and do harm to them or their families."

The bill would not only protect information of prosecutors, but it would also protect information of judges, magistrates and police officers.

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Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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