Fake News by CBS in Elaine Yates Kidnapping Story

The Domestic Violence community has convinced some junior reporter that Domestic Violence was not a crime in 1988. Why didn’t they take the time to get a quote from a criminal attorney on this rather than a domestic violence advocate with likely no professional or licensed credentials. Why wouldn’t assault be crime in 1988?

The County Judge in this case released Elaine Yates and hasn’t even chared her former spouse George Rapier. The media really needs to do some research on this case. Rapier was Yates’ underground spouse and should also be culpable for this crime — although many of us in the Family Abduction Community would speculate that George Rapier was the one that turned in Yates (for immunity from prosecution).

The sooner the victim father in this case is reunifed with now adult children the better. If not, then it’s likely Yates committed other crimes such as income tax evadtion, fraud and possibly some other federal crimes.

The judge in this case should be ashamed of himself in minimizing a 30 year parental kidnapping. The protective parent movement started in the Northeast and there has always been an attempt to further this case.

What the father in this case really needs is a civil attorney to file a lawsuit aginst his former spouse for millions of dollars. This mother must compensate this parental kidnapper for her crime.


16 Responses to Fake News by CBS in Elaine Yates Kidnapping Story

  1. Margo/Mom says:

    In the category of injustices difficult/impossible to undo: these girls, now women, lost not only a father, but presumably also all connection to half of their biological heritage. This is a nightmare betrayal.

    There has been some attention paid of laid to the process of reunification in families split apart like this. I leave it to professionals to battle through the issues of how to label and understand the harm done to children as well as how best to foster healing. But we do need to fully appreciate that the need for reunification “services” of some kind came out of a study done by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. In studying a large number of such cases they were able to not only identify an enhanced likelihood of profound adult issues as the result of their traumatic separation, but also to examine the quality of support available to reuniting families (whether abductors were family members or otherwise). Most “reunifications” at the time of the study were primarily centered around the physical relocation of a child once they were located. Many took place in bus stations or airports. In a majority of cases they were handled by untrained law enforcement officers, sometimes assisted by social workers. The total time dedicated to “reunification” was typically far less than one hour. And then families were left to “cope.” Children were often unassisted in the task of understanding and gaining perspective on their experience–which could range from benevolent caregiving to severe abuse and from a stable location to life on the run.

    While some may feel ambivalent about charging an aging parent for a 30 year old abduction of children now grown and established (one supposes) in their lives, a concern for justice must prevail to ensure that at a minimum the adults involved be charged and made to pay for counseling, and perhaps legal expenses for these now adults.

    • KR I’m sorry that happened to you. Elaine had a lot of options but she never explored them.
      Russell Yates said that he kicked her in self-defense after she attacked him.
      Niether side had the right to put their hands/feet on the other. That’s true but to keep your kids from their father simply for baring a grudge against the person who supposedly wronged you. That’s just as wrong.
      Elaine knew exactly what she was doing when she took her kids and ran and no I don’t believe that she was doing that to “protect” Kimberly and Kelly from their father. She did it to spite him.

  2. KR says:

    Your blog post contains errors. Elaine Yates took her children in 1985. Rhode Island passed the Domestic Violence Act in 1988. Therefore, Elaine Yates could not have charged Russell Yates with domestic violence.

    According to a Providence Journal article in 1988, Russell Yates admitted to punching Elaine, then having to rush her to the ER, because his diamond ring had cut her forehead. While he has more recently claimed that he slapped her, most people wear their rings show when the fist is clenched, rather than having the diamonds in the palm of the hand.

    In the comments section for the 1988 article, a woman claiming to the the ex-coworker of Elaine Yates stated that Elaine occasionally came to work with a broken arm or black eye.

    Elaine Yates was charged with Child Snatching (which was also passed into law in 1988, three years after she disappeared with her daughters). According to that law, she is innocent if she fled after “an incidence or pattern of domestic violence.” Given that Russell Yates has admitted to one incidence of domestic violence (punching his wife in the face) that was severe enough to send Elaine to the hospital, that would appear to be enough to exonerate his wife of the sole charge against her.

    While I agree that it is harmful for children to grow up without a parent, it is also harmful for them to grow up with an abusive parent. Even if the child never receives the abuse, they accept their parents’ behavior as the “normal” way that relationships should be. As adults, they end up as either abuser or abused.

    Based on the interview with George Rapier, he was surprised to learn the details about Elaine’s marriage. He even expressed concern that his marriage to her had been bigamy. (It wasn’t. Russell divorced Elaine in 1996; she married Rapier in 2000.)

    • underwatch says:

      KR it is called the necessity or affirmative defense. But she had other legal options. The motive in these cases is anger and revenge and not love for the child. As time passes, the truth eventually comes out. It sounds like the father and his new wife have raised his third daughter in a loving and caring and law abiding home. You are inserting some fake news into this kidnapping story for your cause.

      • KR says:

        You seem to enjoy throwing around accusations of “fake news” without providing any proof, or even specifying which parts you believe are inaccurate.

        In addition, you claim to know Elaine’s motive … but you’re merely repeating what Russell Yates *claims* her motive was.

        I don’t claim to know her motive. Russell admitted to punching Elaine in early August 1985. She fled later in August 1985, taking her daughters with her. The Warwick police initially refused to file a missing persons case for the daughters, because they “weren’t missing;” they were “with their mother.”

        Russell Yates filed for sole custody in November 1985. While he made attempts to notify Elaine, nobody has proven that she was even *aware* of those attempts. Because Elaine was not available to contest custody, Russell won sole custody.

        The Child Snatching law Elaine has been charged with wasn’t passed until 1988. (I checked the Rhode Island legal code to confirm that.) That’s why the arrest warrant was issued in 1988. Until then, Elaine hadn’t committed a criminal offense.

        According to Rhode Island law, fleeing domestic violence is an “affirmative defense.” Are you aware of any Rhode Island precedent that says that it *had* to be her option of last resort? Based on the actual text of the law, she is allowed be angry about the affair -and- fleeing after an incidence of domestic violence.

        (As someone who has come close to having to kill someone in self-defense, I’m not a fan of any “necessity” clause that expects me to risk *my* life in order to preserve the “rights” of someone who is threatening or attacking me.)

        Domestic violence laws weren’t passed until 1988 (again, I checked the legal code). Are you seriously suggesting that Elaine had the option of waiting until that law was passed? Should she have filed for divorce and custody and hoped that made him *less* angry than when he sent her to the ER?

        Russell Yates admitted that he hit Elaine Yates in the face. He then rushed her to an ER. A social worker counseled her to seek refuge in a battered women’s shelter. All of these can be confirmed *without* having to hear *her* side of the story.

        Based on Elaine’s description & photos, she’s the same size as my wife. Based on Russell’s description & photos, he’s much larger and stronger than me. If a man of my size attacks a woman my wife’s size, that woman should be *very* afraid.

        Legally, I would say that Elaine’s position is unassailable. (As the truth comes out, I expect the prosecutor to drop the charges.) Morally, you *could* argue that Elaine should have been willing to risk her life/health to preserve Russell’s parental rights. I disagree with that philosophical view, but I can’t *prove* that it’s wrong.

      • underwatch says:

        KR, protective parents like you would like to revert back to the days of maternal custody rather than moving forward to coparenting and joint custody. These days after a DV incident and a protective mom wrongfully hits her spouse in a moment of rage and is arrested – Does that mean that the father has a legal right to play judge, jury and executioner and kidnap his children for 30 years? There should never be any legal justification for the kidnapping of young children. Elaine Yates appeared to be one of those divorcing spouses that migrated from one marriage to another and was selfishly not wanting to share custody of her children. So she woke up one morning and changed the identity of a toddler and infant. As a mother or grandmother, can you imagine telling a child she or he has a new name?

      • KR says:

        You seem to be far more interested in making false assumptions than actually paying attention to the information out there.

        Why would I want mothers to automatically get custody? If my parents had divorced, I would have preferred to be in my father’s custody. He never punched me in the head. My mother did.

        Regarding your hypothetical modern-day question, the father potentially *does* have the legal right (if he can show proof that the mother committed domestic violence … like her sending him to the ER), based on my reading of the Rhode Island law. More importantly, he has *better* options: police officers who will arrest the mother, the ability to get an emergency restraining order, judges and juries that take domestic violence seriously….

        You claim that there should *never* be any legal justification for a parent to “kidnap” a young child. (I’ll ignore your misuse of legal terms, and assume that you meant that there’s never justification for a parent to take extra-judicial action and take their children away from the other parent.)

        Let’s talk about a *completely different* case for a moment … Andrea and Rusty Yates. If Rusty had realized that his wife Andrea was about to drown their five children, do you believe that he would have no justification in removing them from her custody? Hiding them from her? Maybe even disappearing (if the law refused to take any action against her)?

        I’m just going to have to disagree with that. I think the five kids’ well-being would have outweighed Andrea’s parental rights.

        Moving back to *this case*, I see a woman who only had bad options to choose from. Even with hindsight, it’s impossible to tell whether she made the best choice, or which choices might have led to better outcomes. I can’t bring myself to condemn someone for her inability to accurately predict the future.

        What makes you believe that Elaine Yates migrated from one marriage to another? The news mentioned one other husband (George Rapier). It says they divorced in 2005, after five years of marriage.
        1985 – Elaine Yates disappeared
        1996 – Russell Yates divorced Elaine
        2000 – Elaine Yates married George Rapier
        2005 – Elaine and George divorced
        So, she waited 15 years (1985 to 2000) to get remarried. The news also mentioned one ex-boyfriend (from 2012).

        Were there other marriages that the press has overlooked? Do you have some secret source of information that nobody else does?

      • underwatch says:

        I recollect reading that George Rapier mentioned that he was married to someone that was already married. Undergound moms frequently have an underground boy friend / husband and it sounds like if not George, there were other men. If you studied the psychological profile of these moms, they tend to move quickly from one sugar daddy to the next. As the Elaine Yates story unfolds, maybe other boy friends or husbands will be uncovered. Andrea Yates is a horrible story but there must have been unreported red flags. You totally disregard our Child Protective Services system in America as created by the Mondale Act of 1974. That agency has certainly vastly improved over the years.

        So if you think your childrens’ lives are in potential harm, go to CPS, go to a DV Shelter, but tell the DA where you are. Don’t kidnap innocent children. If you don’t see this, maybe someday you will come home and find your ex ran off with your kids.

        In regards to the affirmative defense, you must exhaust your legal alternatives to use it. Elaine Yates did not!!!

      • KR says:

        I’ve seen nothing in Rhode Island’s legal code that says an affirmative defense *requires* exhausting all other options. Given the nature of the other two affirmative defenses for Child Snatching, it appears that one of them would be the *first* option, not the last option.

        Rhode Island also has a castle doctrine. They explicitly *don’t* require a person to exhaust all other options before using deadly force. What makes you believe that they require a person to exhaust all other options before fleeing with their children?

        When George Rapier was first approached by the press, he expressed concern that his marriage might have been bigamy. (Given that he probably didn’t know the date of Russell Yates’ divorce, that was a realistic, if needless, concern.)

        You’re speculating that Elaine went from sugar daddy to sugar daddy, despite reports that she’s been working as an IT professional. She legally changed her name in 2009 (to her alias) in order to prevent complications collecting her social security, which is also consistent with someone who has been supporting herself (and paying taxes).

        You state that CPS has “vastly improved over the years.” That may be true … but it’s *currently* being criticized for being underfunded, understaffed, overworked, and broadly failing to investigate most of the cases brought to it. Given your assertion that it’s vastly improved over its abilities in 1985 … I think you just *ruled out* CPS as an option in 1985.

        Have you considered the possibility that the facts in this case don’t line up with your preconceived notions?

      • K.R. You don’t know for certaIn if Elaine exhausted all of her legal options before she left with the children?
        Some of these so called “protective” parents don’t even do that before they leave.
        Some of these so called “protective” parents don’t even know what their legal options are so when they get caught they don’t know what the next step is because they haven’t weighed out their options.

      • KR says:

        In 2008, four teenagers assaulted me (for no reason) while I was walking down the street. They were (apparently) unarmed. I had my pocket knife. Even with the advantage of a knife, they *could* have killed me. Do you believe that I was obligated to exhaust *all* of my other legal options before using lethal force to defend my life?

        To what extent am I supposed to jeopardize *my* right to life in order to preserve the right to life of four teenagers who assaulted me? If they had just walked past me, I would have given them 100% of their right to life. Since *they* attacked me, and made me feel like I might not survive through the next 5 minutes, I was much less considerate of *their* rights.

        When I was assaulted, I didn’t have time to carefully research my rights, the teenagers’ rights, and the rest of the relevant case law. (Frankly, if I’d know my rights, I would have pulled off the kid’s gloves sooner. I *was* within my rights to do so.)

        If *my* life is in jeopardy, preserving it is paramount. For any woman whose life (or whose children’s lives) is in jeopardy, I *expect* her to act the same way. We are biologically programmed to do so, and our case law reflects that.

        I *prefer* that people know what their rights are, because they are more likely to choose the best option.But I’m not so narrow-minded to *expect* others to spend hours researching life-or-death circumstances in advance. We get blindsided by circumstances, the we *react* as best we can.

        Your questions (and underwatch’s questions) seem to illustrate a huge disconnect between *your* ideal world (where people engage in legal options) and the real world (where people attack and kill each other). Depending on the state you live in, the law may lean more toward the ideal, or more toward the real world.

        If Russell Yates posed a credible threat to Elaine Yates’ life, then I don’t really *care* whether she knew / exhausted her legal rights. Apparently, Rhode Island agrees on that account. I think it’s rather hypocritical to expect Elaine to act otherwise (unless *you* would jeopardize *your* life to benefit a violent ex).

      • underwatch says:

        KR, Elaine could have gone to a DV Shelter for 1 week rather than evading authorities for 30 years. Even as her mother Mary Pigeon was jailed, she had plenty of time to get legal counsel. It sounds more like Mary and others aided abetted in her crime. I hope law enforcement spends time investigating how she was able to hide for so many years. As I have stated before, forgery, passport fraud, income tax evasion, identity theft — maybe the US Attorney will also investigate her. It is important deter others from thinking they have any legal justification for committing this crime. Parental Kidnapping or Family Abduction is one of the most horrific forms of child maltreatment against minor children. It is one of most severe forms of domestic violence.

  3. Margo/Mom says:

    It would appear that KR is willing to do a lot of Monday morning quarter-backing. It would appear as though legal options were clearly available to Elaine at least from 1988 forward. She chose instead to violate a custody order (which she had chosen not to challenge at the outset–as she chose to take the children and run instead), and apparently deprive her daughters not only of contact with their father, but also knowledge of who they were as well as their entire paternal heritage. Even adoptive parents today are urged to share such information with their children as it is critically important to identity formation.

    • underwatch says:

      I think KR minimizes horrible nature of a parental kidnapping crime because: 1) Friend/Relative — She is a friend or relative of Elaine Yates; 2) Cause/Group — She is a supporter of some cause or group such as a church that helps protective moms kidnap their children; 3) Conspirator — She directly assisted Elaine Yates like Dede Evavold did in the Sandra Grazzini case and is now supporting her so she is not prosecuted.

      The Protective Parent Movement has always been linked to various religious groups where they find well-intentioned individuals that are willing to assist or look the other way as others commit acts of civil disobedience.

      I agree with you Margo that it’s so sad that others can try and defend this awful crime.

      • KR is the only one speaking facts. Elaine HAS been set free and all charges dropped. Russell decide to try and contact her and she is now again in fear for her life. Police and AGs office also found more evidence that they did not have when they arrested her, reason she is free and can move on with her Own life.

        As far as “Sugar Daddy.” Elaine NEVER needed any mans money. she did very well on her own and actually ended up being more well off than Russell. So you and your “Fake news” is what is horrible.

        Also, only in 1988 3 years after Elaine fled (with no OTHER option) did Rhode Island PASS laws criminalizing domestic violence. So it’s best to not falsely accuse others for not researching or knowing facts when you are clearly guilty of both.

        In final ,The reason Elaine NEVER went to a shelter has already been established and is completely justified.
        Get your facts straight before spouting off untruths and insults.
        Good Luck Elaine, You are very brave and will be a great example.

      • Letthemspeak says:

        Didn’t the daughter post back in April how she felt?

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