For the general public not familiar with the bizarre world of international parental child abduction - an absolute crime under federal law categorized as kidnapping, the circumstances of this father's (herein referred to as CM) ordeal sheds further spotlight on the horrors children and targeted parents face when dealing with child abduction.
Think about this: CM is a highly decorated model citizen. He has served his city, state, and country. He is well-liked. He has never done anything that will even come close to an act of abuse toward another. He is the type of man you would want your son to grow up to be like.
And he has dedicated his life to upholding laws so that innocence can be protected.
Sadly, for CM, the laws that he upholds are not the same laws that have been used to protect him or his daughter. And today, his young daughter who is nearing four years old, is potentially in a very dangerous place.
CM's ordeal highlights the tragedy that all parents of abduction face: laws that are not upheld, criminal acts of kidnapping that are not prosecuted, acts of contempt and perjury that are never punished, financial depletion of monies spent as a crime-victim that are never replaced, years of living like a ghost- living in purgatory while you wait in hope that you will reunite with your child - that are never replaced, pleadings with our government leaders to assist protect your kidnapped child only to have your phone calls or emails never returned, and frustration over a system that you believed in that never believed back in you to the point that you question everything. But perhaps the most difficult part of it is the day-in day-out living in fear that something bad may have occurred to your child, and you can't do anything about it.
And bad does happen. Outside of the severe forms of being kidnapped, which is child abuse, many abducting parents bombard the stolen child with egregious acts of parental alienation and isolation tactics in order to have the child literally sanction that parents 'taking' act. The outcome? The innocent child is brainwashed into thinking that the other parent is a bad person trying to hurt their present care giving parent as well as them.
But that road is much more dangerous for a child than the abuse mustered by the stealing parent. Remember, the abductor is a fugitive. And fugitives take unnecessary risks that put a child in jeopardy.
In the case of CM, the outlandish acts that have occurred for him and a child are so severe that it is unthinkable. Even as I write this, I am shaking my head knowing of the horrific ordeal that has gone on.
How bad has it been?
What was her plan?
To say in Germany, file false claim after false claim against CM, and in the midst of illegally detaining his daughter, seek child support and alimony in Germany and in the United States, while also seeking a large share of the material assets.
In another words, she had a winning lottery ticket, and she knew it.
Eventually, CM filed a Hague Application due to the wrongful detention of his daughter.
Hague Convention is a legal treaty the U.S. and Germany are parties of that attempts to remedy international abduction cases because it attempts to determine which country has final jurisdiction of an abducted child. However, as many chasing parents and lawyers will testify to, the courts are not objective, and subjectivity is the common rule of law that takes place. Which leads to signatory countries being considered non-complying nations.
And Germany has consistently been considered a non-complying nation to the Hague Convention.
Consider this: in the case of CM, the New York resident and 9-11 hero was told very matter-of-fact that if he did not consent to allowing his daughter to remain in Germany, the courts would order that he would never see her again!
Now you might be asking yourself how in the world could that be done?
The answer is pretty simple: many countries who are members of the Hague Convention do not uphold the spirit or intent of the law. In the case of CM, his daughter was born and resided in New York City. He never consented to a relocation. He was a custodial parent.
Despite all this, the German courts strong-armed him and attempted for him to disregard the Hague Convention, and in fact, there was little the United States government could do.
How bad has it gotten? When CM had a recent trial, his lawyers, which included a member of the I CARE Foundation's board, intended to call upon several high-ranking senior law enforcement officers who were prepared to provide key testimony on this case. However, what did this judge do? He not only denied counsel's right to call on the three witnesses, but limited it to one witness, and then said directly to CM, "I hate cops. All cops are liars."
Imagine that. CM, who has been an exemplary citizen, friend, parent, and son had his rights whisked away by a buffoon judge in a nano-second.
But things have gotten worse for CM. In Germany, he has had an appeal filed for over 16 months in his attempt to reunite with his abducted daughter. For 16 months, the German courts have not put the case on any calender despite the rules of international law calling for a swift remedy.
So what did CM do? Nearly 2 months ago, he contacted the Department of State's Office of Children's Issues and requested an emergency welfare check for his daughter.
Well, wouldn't you know it: upon the Department of State making contact with the abducting parent, she informs the US official that she is going on a retreat into the forest for 3 weeks, and there is no Internet or cell phone service. CM's urgent welfare check turns into a tree-hugging expedition for the kidnapper, who once again turns away justice.
Despite this, CM continues to plea for the Department of State's assistance in finding out the welfare of his daughter in lieu of ugly reports filed in the German courts about conduct taking place in the residency of where his daughter was being detained.
Despite these requests, nothing is done, and in fact limited communication has taken place.
So we decided to do something about it. We went to Washington, D.C. and visited senior lawmakers and their aides in hope that the Department of State and our Congress will intervene, and in the very least for the moment, ensure that CM's daughter is physically safe, and a parent's worst nightmares for his daughter are not a reality.
Imagine being the person known as CM: racing into burning buildings to protect lives, standing in harms way of gun-totting drug dealers in order to protect innocence, and having a beautiful three-year old girl who is potentially at grave risk of serious injury, and there is nothing you can do and nothing your government is willing to do to assist you and your American-citizen daughter.
Welcome to the world of international parental child abduction, where nothing makes sense.
Please click on the link to learn more about international parental child abduction and the I CARE Foundation.
If you are a news reporter and are interested in learning more about CM, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Thomas Senese
Chasing The Cyclone