Former Delaware Resident Charged with International Parental Kidnapping
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 16, 2011|
WILMINGTON, DE—Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment yesterday against Benjamin John Soliman Defensor, III, age 39, charging him with international parental kidnapping, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1204.
The indictment alleges that in May 2005, Defensor took his three children from Delaware to the Philippines, and has kept the children in the Philippines since that time. The Indictment charges that Defensor took the children to the Philippines with the intent of obstructing the parental custody rights of the children’s mother. Defensor’s removal of the children violated a Delaware Family Court order prohibiting him from taking the children out of Delaware. The oldest of the Defensor children, identified as C.D., is now over age 18.
Defensor is believed to reside in the Philippines. If brought back to the United States to face these charges, Defensor could receive up to three years in prison on each count.
The case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. FBI Assistant Special Agent In Charge of the Baltimore Division, Leo Taddeo stated, “This Indictment and arrest warrant is an important step toward bringing Mr. Defensor to the U.S. to face charges. The FBI will continue to work with Interpol and its international partners to see that justice is done.”
United States Attorney Oberly stated, “The abduction of a child from the United States to a foreign country is a serious offense. Individuals who illegally remove children from the United States to thwart a parent’s legal custody rights are in violation of federal law. This District has and will continue to pursue parental kidnapping offenders.”
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Ilana Eisenstein.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.