Victoria Innes was five-years-old when her mother, Marie Carrascosa kidnapped her, taking her from the United States to Spain, despite a court order that prohibited each of her battling parents from removing her from the United States without the consent of the other parent.
To buttress this order, and as a precaution, the Court also said that Victoria’s passport must be held by her mother’s lawyer and not released.
A series of unexpected events unfolded when Ms. Carrascosa changed lawyers. Her new lawyer, Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, was unaware of the court order regarding Victoria’s passport. She released the passport to her client whereupon Ms. Carrascosa fled with Victoria to Spain, where her parents lived and where she was qualified as a lawyer.
Distraught father, Peter Innes, took immediate legal action to have Victoria returned to the State of New Jersey, obtaining an American court order for custody, however, the Spanish courts ignored the order.
Later Ms. Carrascosa returned to New Jersey without Victoria to continue the legal battle, apparently confident that the Spanish courts had jurisdiction and taking comfort in an order of the Spanish court that barred Victoria from leaving Spain until she was 18-years-old.
But the New Jersey courts didn’t see it that way. Ms. Carrascosa was tried and sentenced in New Jersey to fourteen years in prison for contempt of court and interfering with child custody.
In the meantime, Mr. Innes launched a lawsuit against attorney Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich who was ordered to pay compensation of $950,000 to him for her negligence in releasing the passport to Ms. Carrascosa.
Typically a term of imprisonment tends to eventually persuade an individual to comply with the law, but not in Ms. Carrascosa’s case. In her zeal to ensure her ex-husband would have no contact with Victoria she remained in prison year after year, depriving her daughter, not only of a father, but a mother as well. Victoria was in the care of her maternal grandmother in Spain.
Ms. Carrascosa’s continued defiance of the court orders and her lengthy incarceration became a legal problem for the State court who expected compliance sooner rather than later. At a hearing in 2007 appellate Judge Donald G. Collester said “She cannot be held forever. At some point in time, she will be out of jail. What are you going to do then?”
In 2014 Ms. Carrascosa received parole for the child abduction conviction but was immediately transferred to local Bergen County jail for refusing to return Victoria to New Jersey.
It was the entreaties of her daughter to court and correctional authorities and the consent of her former husband, Mr. Innes that resulted in her final release in 2015.
Mr. Innes said:
“I know Victoria wants her mother back, and for that reason only, I support her release. I am confident that once our daughter gets to know her mother, she’ll begin to see the reality of this sad situation. It’s been 10 long years since my daughter was taken, and there’s only one thing I am sure of — no one wins in cases like this.”
No person should suffer the torment of child abduction and Peter Innes’ consent to his ex-wife’s release is proof that he understands that it should be all about what is in his daughter’s best interests, a concept that has eluded the self-centred Ms. Carrascosa.
Mr. Innes maintains a website “victoriainnes.com” and has not given up hope that one day he and his daughter will be reconciled.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang