Significant Parental Kidnapping Trials

Parental Kidnapping Trials

Parental Kidnapping is considered one of the most horrific forms of child maltreatment. In our legal systems in the United States and other countries, our criminal and civil systems has made significant strides to deter others from committing this really heinous criminal act. Here is our list of Parental Kidnapping criminal and civil trial verdicts that we believe are significant.

Some observations:

  • With parental kidnapping criminal prosecutions, there are often other crimes committed such as Passport Fraud, Forgery and Bank Fraud.
  • The story lines of most of these parental kidnapping cases sound very similar with parents disputing child custody and the kidnapping parent ignoring a child custody court order.
  • In Civil Cases the amounts awarded by juries against third party conspirators or negligent parties are in the millions.
  • In the Civil Case a jury against an Executive Jet Company that flew the kidnapped children from the United States to Egypt, a jury was given the task of estimating a dollar value for the 22 months a searching mother’s child was kidnapped. The jury awarded the mother $17 Million or almost $800,0000 per month. The Private Executive Jet Company was found to be negligent in failing to check if the father had permission from children’s mother to remove the children from the United States. They were ordered to pay an additional $10 Million for custodial interference and negligence.

Barbara Vigil
Year: 2001
Country: United States to Costa Rica
Charges: United States Passport Fraud 2 Counts, State Court Forgery of Government Document, 2 counts forgery of a government document, 1 count of criminal impersonation
Sentencing: 12 Months 1 Day in Prison
Civil: $599,032.16 damages against Barbara Vigil, Betty Vigil and another party. Vigil to pay $6,138 in extradition costs, $3,570 in daughter’s therapy costs.

Syed Hasan
State: Michigan
Year: 2008
Criminal Verdict: Convicted of one count each of making a false statement on a passport application, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1542,1 conspiracy to commit kidnapping, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371,2 and international parental kidnapping, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1204(a).3  Hasan was sentenced principally to 52 months’ imprisonment.

Clark Rockefeller
Year: 2008
State: Massachusetts
Sentencing: 4 years to 5 years (also sentenced to 27 years for murder in an unrelated case)

Linda Wynn, William Amacher
Year: 2010
Countries: New York to to Mexico
Length of Abduction:
Sentencing: 3 Years in Prison

Mark McCallum
State: Michigan
Year: 2013
Sentencing: 28 months to 15 years in prison for two counts of parental kidnapping and custodial interference. Pay fines of $2,600 in restitution including $1,900 in extradition costs

David Matusiewicz
State: Delaware
Year: 2009
Sentencing: Federal Kidnapping and Bank Fraud, sentenced to 4 years in prison followed by five years supervision by the U.S. Probation office.

Maria Jose Carrascosa
State: New Jersey
Year: 2010
Sentencing: 14-year contempt of court sentence for failing to turn the child over.

Ly Huong (Huong Thi Kim Ly)
State: New York
Year: 2010
Criminal Verdict: Guilty Verdict.

Anwar Wissa Jr.
State: Connecticut to Egypt
Year: 2006
Civil Verdict: Executive Jet Management ordered to pay mother $10 million for negligence and custodial interference and an additional $17 million for the 22-month separation from the children.

Claudia Cano
Year: 2010
Civil: Father vs. Escondido Union School District, Father awarded $2 million in damages.

Note: If you know of a criminal or civil parental kidnapping or family abduction case that should be on this list, please email it to


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