Breaking: Dorothy Lee Barnett Gets 21 Month Prison Sentence

Dorothy Lee Barnett

A Convicted Felon

This just in. Dorothy Lee Barnett plead guilty will receive a 21 Month Prison Sentence and 2 years supervised release. Here is what we know so far:

  • Barnett’s plea was heard, and sentence was imposed, by United States District Court Judge Richard M. Gergel. The International Parental Kidnapping count carried up to three years’ imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. § 1204 and each of the False Statement charges carried up to ten years’ imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. § 1542.
  • Savanna Todd / Samantha Geldenhuys spoke on her behalf. She said, “I was loved beyond belief.” She also spoke of her reunion with her father, “It was an experience I cannot describe in words.” (Editors Note: WOW!)
  • The Judge said, “It is important that others be deterred from essentially taking the law into their own hands.”
  • Barnett was charged with International Parental Kidnapping and falsifying two passport applications. We don’t know what felony crimes she plead guilty to.
  • It doesn’t sound like Dorothy Lee Barnett made a statement with an apology to the victims. She let her daughter do the talking.(Note: That disappoints us)
  • Harris Todd’s Attorney, Graham Sturgis said, “He recognizes the need to love her mother,” Sturgis said. “Very few of us will ever know the experience of having lost a child. … No punishment will ever make good the loss that Mr. Todd has suffered.” (Note: We agree with Graham!)
  • We don’t know what the conditions were for her 2 years supervised release. Although in a supervised release, that would usually means she would have to reside in the county.
  • We don’t know if the judge ordered restitution paid to the victim Father.


Federal Bureau of Investigation Press Release

The Post and Courier




21 Responses to Breaking: Dorothy Lee Barnett Gets 21 Month Prison Sentence

  1. underwatch says:

    I saw the the comments by local Charleston Criminal Defense Attorney David Aylor. I realize he is a criminal defense attorney but I dislike that the clips they used appear that he is minimizing the crime and the defendant not having to take responsibility for the crime which does not appear to be this case. He is not speaking about the seriousness of the crimes committed such as the Felony Charge, Passport Fraud and the 2 years supervised release (that’s a very long time).

  2. underwatch says:

    This is breaking news. From reading Savanna’s statement reported by The Post and Courier, Charleston’s newspaper — it appears that Savanna Todd finally met her father. This is great news for Harris. And the fact that Savanna spoke for her mother, here’s a situation where the now adult-child is being the parent that Dorothy Lee Barnett never was.

    • Paul says:

      It’s great that this daughter has now made substantive contact with her father, which goes beyond the e-mail contacts she previously had with him, and that she spoke positively about her encounter with him. Now, the question is whether or not there will be further contact between the two in the future. If I could say something to the daughter, I would advise her to at least give her father a shot at establishing a relationship with her – if it works out, great; if not, then at least an attempt was made. It would dishearten me if she were to decide to end further contact with him without making any serious attempts to establish a relationship with him.

  3. underwatch says:

    Paul, I agree with you. There have been a number of these recent reunifications between the adult-children and their searching parent. You hope that the adult-child reunified with their parent because it was the morally correct thing to do rather than just being a pawn for the manipulative parental kidnapper. In the other extreme, we’ve also seen the adult-child completely disown the parental kidnapper after discovering what happen to them. I am hoping that the Barnett Family will take this as a new beginning and will not disparage the father or his family. I hope they will encourage and support Savanna in her reunification efforts.

    It is unfortunate that the spotlight is now on Savanna to show the world what type of person she is. But I am certain there are plenty of children from custodial-embattled divorces that have been there and done that.

  4. Dorothy did the right thing by avoiding putting Savanna through a lengthy trial.
    Going through a trial that could have ended in her mother serving more time in jail could possibly have ended with her resenting her father.
    On a positive note she did reunite with her father and that’s a good start. We just have to hope that Savanna will keep her new relationship with her father going.

    • Paul says:

      I see that this daughter has expressed a desire to get to know her biological father better, and that’s a good thing. At least she won’t be disappointing me on that front. If she succeeds in establishing a good relationship with her father, that’s the most ideal outcome; if she tries but things somehow don’t work out, then that’s at least understandable compared to giving up without seriously trying.

  5. underwatch says:

    Hi Paul, this is really great news for the biological father. I have followed his story since the father first appeared in GQ Magazine then on several TV Talk Shows. I am sure it wasn’t easy to do that. Savanna has taken some great steps for adult victims of this crime. Her recent actions also provide hope for searching parents. I am also happy to see that the Barnett Family has not continued to disparage the father. Hopefully everyone can move on with their lives nows and Savanna will have a positive future relationship with Harris. It would be nice to see Savanna meet some other members of the Todd family too!

    • underwatch says:

      Hi Lorraine, thank you very much for sharing this. This gentleman is a true hero! In all the years that I have followed these cases, he is one of the only individuals that has turned in a suspected parental kidnapper. In regards to the harassment that he has been though, that has occurred in other cases. I never understood that. Here is a group of so called individuals that are suppose to be child protectionists and against domestic violence. Yet when this gentleman is harassed, they look the other way.

      It is also the first time I have heard that the late step father knew Dorothy Lee’s secret. If Dorothy testified during a trial, this gentleman’s testimony would have been enlightening for the jury.

      Finally, that Today Tonight TV piece. That reporter got so many facts wrong.

      Thanks again for sharing this.

  6. unbiased says:

    Unfortunately Bruce Michell passed out his details to the local press, name,phone number and address – a bit of a pity really. You would have thought that Bruce would have accepted the courts sentence and accepted the facts – unfortunately not – he has links to this rather sad attempt of trying to get support where he is now attacking someone who has done the correct thing !

    • underwatch says:

      Bruce’s post is pathetic. It sounds like a completely different story than Samantha’s statement at Dorothy Lee Barnett’s Hearing.

      I would also think that it violates the website terms.

      There is a link “Report” in the footer of the page to file a complaint.

    • Lorraine says:

      Can anyone enlighten me as to the relationship between Bruce and Ms Barnett? To me, Bruce always comes across as a person totally besotted with Ms Barnett. Also, the trash that he puts out there in defence of Ms Barnett’s wrongdoings has me wondering about the state of his mental well-being.

      Did Bruce attend any of Ms Barnett’s court appearances in the US? If not, why not? I would have thought it would have been Bruce’s big moment to tell the judge a thing or two.

      Why doesn’t Bruce fund Ms Barnett’s legal expenses himself instead of expecting the gullible and the easily-convinced to separate from their money for a person who pleaded guilty, and who has “buckley’s to none” of ever obtaining a visa to re-enter Australia.

      As well, what Bruce should be doing is setting aside a trust account so that Ms Barnett’s now-adult children can visit their mother whenever, instead of expecting everyone else to separate from their money. As the judge said, “Ms. Barnett, there are no winners in this situation”.

    • Lorraine says:

      An extract from GoFundMe “FundsforJustice: Dorothy L Barnett”

      “… Alex’s life over the past 20 years has been honest and true to her core beliefs …

      We are raising money to prevent this injustice from occurring again and to reunite Alex with her daughter and son; their sole provider. Her best chance will be met with only the highest of legal representation which comes at a price of which an incarcerated, single, hardworking, and dedicated mother cannot bare on her own.

      Even the smallest donation will help Samantha and Reece to get their mother back!”

      Putting it into the context that:

      * Ms Barnett pleaded guilty;
      * No right of appeal in a guilty plea;
      * Ms Barnett’s life over the past 20 years has certainly not been honest;
      * There is nothing to stop Ms Barnett’s daughter and son from reuniting with her in the US upon her release from prison;
      * Ms Barnett’s children have reached the age where they provide for themselves;
      * Ms Barnett has not been in gainful employment since November 2013, so cannot be her children’s “sole provider”;
      * Ms Barnett’s children still have their mother, so why must people donate to help get their mother back?

      My money is on the author being the same person who was quoted as saying in a newspaper article in 2010, “People should check the proper facts before seeking their 15 minutes.”

      My question to the author who I would imagine checks out this site on a regular basis, “Is this a newer version of a Nigerian Scam?”

      • I hope whoever is responsible for this is sleeping well at night.

      • Paul says:

        Do these two children of this mother even support this fundraiser? I would be very disappointed if they somehow did.

      • underwatch says:

        Hi Paul,

        I saw this post on a Facebook page. It sounds like Cliff and Samantha may not agree with Bruce’s actions. Now that Dorothy Lee Barnett has plead guilty, it doesn’t make sense for Bruce to continue his crusade. That’s the risk when a defendant takes a case to the media. You have some individuals like Bruce with a personal agenda and a cause that attach themselves to the defendant. And that person’s actions will now negatively reflect the reputation of the defendant and her entire family.

        Here’s a the post below from Facebook.

        “Bruce, you need to pull your head in. I’ve known Alex and I don’t like this anymore than you do. Most of all, I feel for her son and daughter. I wish that everyone would sit down like adults and work this out amicably. But you’re making statements and allegations that aren’t entirely correct and it might end up making things a lot worse. Your efforts are appreciated, but even Cliff and Samantha aren’t entirely supportive of the way you are trying to support this. It won’t help Alex’s legal defense and may even give her opponents further ammunition to use against her. To make false allegations and spread misleading information against the father is not the way to give Alex the best possible chance in court, no matter how much we disagree with him.”

  7. Virginia says:

    From what I know in biology, 2 blue eyed parents, cannot have a brown eyed child. Savanna has brown eyes & both Todd’s have blue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: