Mother who abducted daughter to Japan avoids prison
News On Japan via jsonline.com -- Sep 27
After incurring contempt and criminal charges for taking her daughter to Japan during a custody dispute that lasted four years, Emiko Inoue returned the girl to her father in Fox Point last year as part of a deal that gave Inoue a chance to avoid a felony conviction.
But over the summer, a Milwaukee County prosecutor said Inoue engaged in a "direct and flagrant" violation of a deferred prosecution agreement by attempting to have Japanese courts undo a decision granting legal custody to her ex-husband and should be sent to prison.
Assistant District Attorney Matthew Torbenson backed off that position at a hearing Tuesday, withdrawing his motion after Inoue turned over documents and said under oath she hasn't obtained or sought travel documents for her or her daughter. She also said she understands her ex-husband has been granted legal custody by courts in Wisconsin and Japan.
Circuit Judge Mel Flanagan did order that Inoue be freed of GPS monitoring, explaining that the high-tech tracking technology is intended for defendants on pretrial release only.
Inoue, 43, is Japanese with legal U.S. residency while married to Moises Garcia, a physician. She took her daughter to Japan in February 2008, shortly after Garcia had filed for divorce, and ignored court orders to return. Eventually, Inoue was arrested on a Wisconsin warrant when she went to Hawaii in April 2011 to renew her U.S. residency status. She later pleaded no contest to interfering with child custody, a felony, under an agreement that she would ultimately be convicted of only a misdemeanor if her daughter was returned to Garcia, who has legal custody.
The girl, now 9, returned in December, but part of the deferred prosecution agreement was that Inoue accede to full jurisdiction and orders of Milwaukee County family court, which in February specifically ordered that she not engage in any legal efforts in Japan to alter the current custody arrangement. Two days later, she filed an appeal in Japanese courts, according to local prosecutors.
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