Kidnapping is the taking of any person against his or her will — making the crime an incredibly serious one. Likewise, the state of New York considers kidnapping a felony. There are, however, cases that are wrongly interpreted and therefore are deserving of further scrutiny. Parental kidnapping is a complex topic, but it is important to understand the crime through the lenses of recent cases, law enforcement and the court system.
Parental kidnapping cases happen more than one might assume. Just last year, the Post Star covered the heartbreaking story of a Queensbury father whose ex-wife abducted their three-year-old son by taking him back to her home in Russia. With initial promises to return their son on a specific date in 2016, the man’s ex-wife later notified him that he would never see his son again. At the time of the Post Star’s article the father had not heard from his son’s mother, but the case was placed before a judge last October, where the New York father anxiously awaited a ruling regarding the sending of paperwork to his ex-wife in Russia. He also hopes to find assistance abroad to acquire extended legal help.
Cases involving individuals outside of the country may be complex, but Findlaw notes that New York kidnapping constitutes as a felony under the federal criminal code, with the penalty of 20 or more years in prison. In legal terms, a person is guilty of kidnapping when they abduct another person. When someone is charged with kidnapping of the second degree, the state considers the crime a class B violent felony. More seriously, kidnapping in the first degree is a class A-I felony, with a minimum of 15-25 years in prison and the maximum term of life imprisonment. Of course, the details of such penalties depend on each case, but understanding state laws surrounding the topic can be vital.