Domestic Violence Defense Not Credible says Federal Jury
A Federal Jury of 12 has convicted Jacqueline Bontzolakes of Tonawanda, New York of Parental Kidnapping and Passport Falsification. She faces of maximum penalty of 11 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In February 2012, Jacqueline Bontzolakes kidnapped her children out of the country to Canada and later the Barbados. As soon as she lost custody of her children in 2010, she filled out a U.S. Passport Application and obtained Passports for her children. Since a Passport Application requires the signature of both parents and she did not obtain the signature from the fathers of her children. She removed her children out of the country in violation of the custody agreements set by the local Family Court.
The children were discovered in the Barbados and returned to their custodial fathers through the efforts of Homeland Security agents, the State Department and other law enforcement agencies.
In the Federal Criminal Trial, Bontzolakes used Domestic Violence as a defense and that she fleeing to protect herself and her child. However, Federal Prosecutors argued that she filed for a U.S. Passport only after losing custody to her former spouse in the Family Court Case. As is common in these cases, Ms. Botozolakes did not have supported evidence of Domestic Violence in her Family Court Case or Child Protective Service or CPS Cases. Additionally, a University of Buffalo law professor and domestic violence expert testified that she was a victim of abuse including the revelation that she waited years before revealing her own abuse as a child. Although in the Expert Witness had never interviewed her. The U.S. Attorney suggested that Bontzolakes’ testimony might have been less than truthful.
After the verdict, a disgruntled supporter of Jennifer Bontzolakes posted on Topix.com, “If Jackie didn’t take off with her kids because of a cycle of domestic/familial violence and fear for her kids safety…then WHY did she do it?” In our Internet Search we discovered a posting by Jennifer Bontzolakes, a Massage Therapist and Model in 2007 on the website http://www.starnow.com “I love to travel, and one of my favorite places to go is Hawaii”.
The prosecution and successful verdicts by the U.S. Attorneys in this case is an inspiration to the Family Abduction and Family Court Community and provides hope for both Searching and Recovering Parents. The U.S. Passport Falsification Penalties are a huge step toward keeping custodial embattled parents in Family Court and encouraging co-parenting. Furthermore, the efforts of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides more hope for Searching Parents. The Failed Domestic Violence Defense in a step toward getting the Domestic Violence Community to supporting the Family Court process and start to address issues such as False Allegations and Parental Kidnapping — rather than ignore them.
Editors Note: We have heard of any updates in the Eileen Clark Case. It appears that she too should be made accountable for her unconscionable 15 year Parental Kidnapping Crime and her similar Domestic Violence Allegation Defense should be adjudicated in the United States rather than by the United Kingdom. We would like to see her extradited to the United States soon. The Father in that case went 15 years without knowing where his children were — that is horrible.