FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday - September 14, 2007
RALEIGH - At 9:00 AM this morning before US District Court Judge James C. Dever, III, Defendant Allison Lee Quets, in the presence of counsel, entered guilty pleas to both counts of International Kidnaping contained in the Indictment pending against her.
Quets had become impregnated at age 47 as a result of an in vitro fertilization procedure using donated egg and sperm. During the pregnancy, the defendant sought to have the children adopted and succeeded in identifying a willing couple residing in North Carolina. The negotiations which ensued nearly collapsed when the adoptive parents were unable to meet Quets’ demand for reimbursement for expenses related to the in vitro procedure. The birth took place on July 6, 2006. The adoption procedure took place on 8/16/06 and was accomplished pursuant to Florida law and with counsel for the defendant. Shortly after signing the required documents and releasing the children to the custody of the adoptive parents, the defendant changed her mind and asked for the children back. The adoptive parents declined and litigation ensued. On June 29, 2006, the Circuit Court in Florida issued a 26-page decision awarding custody to the adoptive parents and rejecting all of the defendant’s claims. The defendant appealed. While the appeal was pending, consistent with the terms of the adoption, the defendant was permitted visitation. The Court order specified that every third week, visitation could occur within the vicinity of the adoptive parents’ home. Shortly after the defendant took custody for visitation purposes on the afternoon of December 22, 2006, she proceeded to drive north to the Canadian border. It was subsequently determined that she had crossed into Canada on the morning of December 23, 2006, with plans for an overnight stay in Kingston, Ontario. An extensive search was initiated by the FBI shortly thereafter which resulted in the issuance of Provisional Arrest Warrant by Canadian authorities. The defendant was found with the children in Ottawa on December 29, 2006. She had leased a private residence for a 6-month term. Evidence was subsequently developed that the defendant had planned the abduction several months in advance. Unbeknownst to the adoptive parents, she had obtained passports for the children in her name, represented herself as having full custody, made plane reservations for an earlier date, sought contacts in Canada including seeking a Canadian immigration attorney, and made inquiry concerning extradition procedure.
From the date of her Initial Appearance in the United States on January 17, 2007, until her guilty plea today, the defendant has been held in pre-trial detention. In light of her guilty plea, her expressed desire to cooperate, and the length of her detention, the Government withdrew its request for detention, and the defendant was released on conditions pending sentencing. The matter is currently set for sentencing on December 17, 2007, in Raleigh.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.