Correction: Custody-Surrender story
LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) — In a story Dec. 18 about a custody dispute, The Associated Press erroneously reported that a judge did not rule on a prosecutor’s request that the daughter at the center of the case be brought out of hiding for a psychological evaluation. The judge denied that request but said he would rule separately if a motion were made to produce her for questioning by prosecutors.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Mom jailed in custody case, says daughter safe
Mom sent back to jail to await trial in New Hampshire custody case, says daughter safe
By KATHY McCORMACK
LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) — A woman who was accused of fleeing with her daughter to Central America in a custody dispute 10 years ago and recently returned home was sent back to jail Thursday to await trial.
Genevieve Kelley returned to New Hampshire last month to face a custodial-interference charge in Coos County. She won’t say where her daughter, 18-year-old Mary Nunes, is but says she’s safe.
Kelley, a family practice doctor, had been free after posting $50,000 bail this month. But a judge re-set bail at $250,000 cash Thursday after a prosecutor raised questions about whether she has failed to turn over passports she may hold in other names.
One of her lawyers, Alan Rosenfeld, said if there were such passports, “she has the right to not present evidence against herself.” He said she’s in court of her own will and wants to face a jury trial.
Judge Peter Bornstein, in ruling for the higher bail, said he found the defense’s “bobbing and weaving” over the passport issue “extremely disturbing.”
The judge denied County Attorney John McCormick’s request to order that Nunes be brought out of hiding and forced to undergo a psychological evaluation and treatment free from her mother’s influence. The judge said that he doesn’t have the authority to force her to undergo a psychological evaluation but that he would rule separately if a motion were made to produce her for questioning by prosecutors.
Kelley, of Whitefield, is under orders to have no contact with her daughter. Defense lawyer John McKinnon said the prosecutor has no legal basis to support the request.
McKinnon said in a motion an 18-year-old can’t be forced to appear before the court “without her even being accused of having committed a crime or being a threat to herself or anyone else.”
In October 2003, Kelley canceled a daughter-father visit and reported to the state Division of Children, Youth and Families that Nunes was abused by her father. Police and state investigators felt he was unfairly accused, and he was never charged.
By November 2004, Kelley had moved to Colorado with her daughter, and they were ordered to appear for an evaluation but never showed up. McCormick said Kelley fled with her 8-year-old daughter amid the litigation over the visitation schedule with Mark Nunes, the child’s father and Kelley’s ex-husband.
The following December, Mark Nunes was given custody of his daughter, but she had already disappeared with her mother. The U.S. Marshals Service said they went to Guatemala, then Honduras, the last confirmed sighting. Kelley was indicted in 2005.
In a letter sent to McCormick this year, Kelley said she worked with the family court system to no avail.
“I violated a family court custody decision in order to protect my daughter from a greater harm,” she wrote.
Nunes last saw his daughter when she was 7, and he hopes to reunite with her.
“I want you to remember that we love you, and I want you to know something new — and that is that you’re free, that nobody can tell you what to do,” Nunes said in an online video for her after her mother turned herself in.