Jacqueline Bontzolakes, Parental Kidnapper Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison

Jacqueline Bontzolakes, the Buffalo, New York Underground Mom was sentenced to 18 months in prison for kidnapping by a Federal Judge. After losing of her children in 2010, Bontzolakes obtained U.S. Passports for her children and fled the country to Canada and then to the Barbados. She was found guilty of

Jacqueline Bontzolakes

Jacqueline Bontzolakes

International Parental Kidnapping by a Federal Jury. During her trial, she used Domestic Violence at her defense. But Prosecutors argued that her claims of abuse were nothing more than a smokescreen to keep custody of her daughters, ages 7 and 10.

During the sentencing hearing, Bontzolakes said she was abused as a child and was later abused by her boyfriend. Bontzolakes received support from local community members pleading with the courts to give her a lesser sentence.

U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson sentenced Bonzolakes to 18 months in prison, well below the maximum 10 year sentence.

Jacqueline Bontzolakes, like many underground moms never backed down from her position that she went underground to protect her children. This is a case where an underground mom after making the same accusations as Bontzolakes, found herself a foreign country that was engaged in a civil war. Rather give her son over to foster care in a foreign country, she called her former husband and told him to “pick up his son”. In the end, that underground mom’s actions proved that she didn’t truly believe her allegations or her belief at least when faced with a different predicament was substantially different. But Jacqueline Bontzolakes held her position that she did it to protect her child. After her arrest and during her trial, she became a community activist like many other arrested underground moms.

Jacqueline Bontzolakes has not seen her children in 3 years. She calls herself a protective parent and a community activist. However, as we’ve seen in the other underground cases, these parentally kidnapped children and there left behind families are the real victims here. As these families have no doubt worked very hard to rebuild these children’s lives, it’s no doubt that the best way to protect these children is to have Jacqueline Bontzolakes in Prison, as far away from them as possible.



9 Responses to Jacqueline Bontzolakes, Parental Kidnapper Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison

  1. Cgonzalez says:

    I disagree of the story that is said about Jacquleine Bontzolakes, No one knows as they say but things did occur. It’s sad that the court system fail on her behalf. Jacqueline Bontzolakes is and was always a great other trying to protect her children it’s sad that society is so judgmental and assuming what they believe happen. I believe that what she did was wrong but the court didn’t allow real evidence to this nature. It’s easy to put all the blame on her just for protecting her children. One day her daughter’s will grow to be grow young ladies and Jacqueline family will say the truth about it all. so before you can type certain thing on a website get all your facts and speak the truth. The system in buffalo is against women and that sad because if she was in new York none of this would of happen.
    Jacqueline is not a bad person she has BBA and was an independent that work so hard to make sure her children were safe and had everything they need!

    • underwatch says:

      Hi C,

      Parental Kidnappers like Jacqueline Bontzolakes have so many legal alternatives before committing this crime. Rather than spend her money on travel and living expenses to the Babados, why didn’t she put her children in therapy? The therapist could have helped. You need a family court system and child custody professionals to sort these cases out. You can’t have a single parent deciding custody of their children on their own. There have been several studies on the motivation of parental kidnappers like Jaqueline Bontzolakes. What researchers found was that it’s usually anger and revenge against the other parent and not love for their child(ren).

      • concerned parents everywhere says:

        I know the case personally. She tried other routes for years…family court, counseling, leaving the abuser. The system failed her family. Talk to the kids. They will let you know that they are worse without her. Look at their school records; see firsthand that they are worse without her. She tried to rescue her children using the system. When that failed, she tried to rescue them herself. I agree it was not the best way to do it; I can also see how she was becoming desperate when those sworn to protect and serve were just trying to protect their own with no regard for her or the safety of her children. At any rate, the judge would not allow all of the facts to be presented to the court, agreeing with the prosecution that they would unfairly bias the jury! Um…excuse me? You are going to tell what she did but not allow her to explain why? Isn’t the point of trial for all of the FACTS, not opinions, not speculations, not assumptions but the FACTS to be be presented? Shocking! The judge makes this call despite the photos! Despite neighbor accounts! Then, there is evidence permitted that nudges towards the truth but the testifiers cannot speak about any part of the abuse? Then what the hell are they testifying about?! You think the judge would allow the evidence a social worker admitted on the stand that she FALSIFIED her reports! Even after a top domestic violence expert testified on her behalf! And especially after sworn medical professional testimony about what was observed and witnessed! But alas….the jurors did not know the reason WHY. Only that she left the country with the children.

        After the trial, jurors were asked how they would have voted if they’d known about the rapes, the DOCUMENTED physical and verbal abuse towards her or the child’s unsupervised time with registered sex offenders living in the home of the father in addition to what they were allowed to hear/see. More than half said “not-guilty”. I don’t know the facts about all of these “parental kidnappers” so I cannot speak about their cases. Regarding this case, I can speak and write knowingly. The Bontzolakes family has suffered repeatedly from this ongoing domestic violence towards Jacqueline from the abuser. The courts helped him violate her those years when she sought their help by not investigating properly and advocating for her. And now, the courts have helped him abuse her again. Worse, the children are suffering! They are the real victims. They will be without their mother for a year, with no watchful eye to advocate for them, no voice urging them to strive for better! Know the facts. It’s clear that you do not.

      • underwatch says:

        Dear Concerned Parent,

        Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman. Why were they found not guilty and Jacqueline Bontzolakes found guilty? You claim that only you and Jacqueline Bontzolakes are smarter and wiser than the judge in this case in knowing what evidence should have been given to the jury. What about Ms Bonzolakes’ attorneys, were they not competent?

        We’ve followed these cases and the evidence that the parental kidnapper
        believes proves that their belief was reasonable or they exhausted their legal remedies is rarely or almost never the smoking gun that exonerates from them from a conviction of this crime. Parental Kidnappers refuse to believe that they were wrong in their conclusions about their former spouse. It sounds like that is also the case with supporters like you. Our U.S. Criminal Justice System typically gives us verdicts like Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman. So when Jacqueline Bontzolakes was found guilty, do you really think that she was wrongfully convicted because the judge disallowed some evidence? It’s time to accept the verdict in this case and try and help this family move forward for the better interests on these children. Co-parenting vs. Maternal Custody.

      • OVERWATCH says:

        they were in therapy for years. They could do nothing to help these domestic violence victims because they as they say. “you can’t get OVER something you still are IN” the agencies continued to terminate counseling after periods of 6-8 weeks, because that is how the policies go. NO one gets therapy indefinitely. The agencies here do what they can but Child Protective Services don’t do their jobs that is why 3 children in the last 2 years in Erie County have died at the hands of abusive fathers (including step fathers) and they are UNDER FIRE! Family member and community members all reported it over and over and now little Muhammad died 4/2012 and Eli just died 8/2012…. How do you explain that MR. UNDERWATCH? Try watching the real perpetrators and those that are paid to make sure children are ruined so that they can collect payments for screwing up children’s lives. All legal alternatives were taken. Jan 2010 she was in front of Judge Bailey, for a change in circumstance after finding out child was staying with the Uncle who is a registered sex offender. You are more then welcomed to check it. Artis A. Green Buffalo, NY and even his 17 year old daughter signed the petition and commented on how HORRIBLE her father is and was her entire life. How do you explain that Mr. Underwatch? There is no “revenge” as you state….

        You apparently spend to much time just looking up articles that you don’t ever care about the truth… Pedophiles, abusers, manipulators, unrighteous people, and fools are the only one who support your position. Like minds think alike!

        WHEN THERE IS VICTORY YOU WILL BE THE FIRST TO KNOW… Then after that you will hear the echos of her daughter repeat the same words of her older sister about what a horrible dad he was. The 17 year old remembers all what has happened and so will this younger daughter. But this doesn’t matter to you, as you only want to extract the drama of the situation and not the TRUTH. The TRUTH will set us FREE. Slanderous talks will slander self…

  2. bobby lang says:

    The sad thing is she would have had another day in court and could have got the kids back the legal way. She knew the law well enough to try to make a run for it with the kids and with all that money spent she could have hired a great lawyer. But too now after being caught look for sympathy and now take your word on what happened is asking a lot. And let’s not forget that the kids had different parents so both fathers could have not been bad and why take the other child? Also what does it say about her who keeps sleeping and having children with such awful men? The question to a smart person should be, is it them or her?

  3. C says:

    Well the comments are Interesting I was on the jury!! Half did not vote not guilty!! It took all but a few hours the woman on the jury were using “feel bad” as a reason to vote not guilty” u judge based on facts presented and the facts were HER DEFENSE ATTRY ALREADY STATED SHE COMMITED THE FORGING OF DOCUMENTS ON 2 accts!!! They were trying to justify her taking off without consent

    • Margo/Mom says:

      Yeah–I think that the “I did it but I had a really good reason” defense seldom flies, even with juries.

      I don’t know this case, but in following several others where I have taken time to look into the facts behind some of the impassioned pleas about how a “protective parent” was denied justice, nobody listened and everyone but the parent was out for some kind of monetary gain, the “evidence” typically falls apart under scrutiny. Many folks don’t have a clear understanding of how courts work. Judges tend to disallow attempts to relitigate settled cases

  4. Mary Ann Leuchtmann says:

    My 15 year old grandson lived with me for almost 8 years. His Brazilian mother who is banned from entering the US. In Sept 2015 put pick up order on him. Judge put order for him to SKYPE 3 time a week. He hated it as his was severely physically abused by her last husband in US before she went back to Brazil. I had to put him in therapy due to depression, anxiety and panic attacks. We were in court battle. Then I found out she had a full custody paper. Judge did state he would allow arguments as to Why Julian should stay. Then before that happened her attorney got an ex parte pick up order without contacting my attorneys! He was picked up in school and flown to Brazil the same night. My heart aches for him. He begged me to protect him. His therapist even cried and said this is going to kill him emotionally. The order was filled with lies. I worried for 12 hours, had police looking for him until Sheriff office stated what happened. He’s a US CITIZEN and had no guardian ad leitem. I just opened file for custody and she says she served my son but the address is the house where he was raised and is not correct. This judge said in hearing to have this overturned 4 days later that’s the law. How about my grandson? He doesn’t speak Portuguese and will never be able to finish school. She had not allowed him to call me or any friends. My son was with him all the time up until 06. She married this abusive man then fled to Brazil in 07. In 09 she called me and asked if he could come live with me. She never sent a dime to me, but I had no idea she even had full custody. Those papers are filled with lies also. Now a boy who has roots and was so happy was up rooted with no warning and put on a plane woth none of his belongings. CAN I APPEAL THIS ORDER IN APPELLEE COURT. I should have been notified so my attorneys could fight it. Order a psychologist to test him. Find out what HE WANTED TO DO. he knew he could leave at any time. We asked him to talk with his mother but she was so self centered be couldn’t take it. I need to get him home. Please help me.

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