Lithuanian ex-judge in Chicago hopes to halt extradition

CHICAGO (AP) — A former Lithuanian judge and lawmaker is going before a federal judge in Chicago for a possible ruling on her request to stop her extradition to Lithuania, where she says she exposed a network of influential pedophiles.

Neringa Venckiene (vehn-KEE'-ehn-nay) wants U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall on Thursday to freeze her extradition pending a decision on her request for political asylum.

Venckiene worked as a florist before U.S. agents arrested her on a Lithuanian warrant in February. She's been jailed in Chicago since. The 47-year-old woman faces charges that include reporting a false crime after claiming her 4-year-old niece was among the pedophile ring's victims.

A Chicago-area Republican, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, last month introduced a bill to halt her extradition. But it's considered a longshot to become law.