Mother of woman who took son may be charged

BY STACI WILSON

Charges are expected to be brought against the mother of the 20-year-old woman who took her two-year-old son toMichiganwithout the permission of the toddler’s father who has primary custody.

Crystal Williams, 20, pleaded guilty Friday in Susquehanna County Court to a misdemeanor count of interference with the custody of children.

As part of the plea deal, Williams has agreed to cooperate in the prosecution of any co-defendants charged in the matter.

District Attorney Jason Legg told the court charges are expected to be brought against Williams’ mother, who lives inMichigan, based on statements the defendant made to police. The name of Williams’ mother was not given in court.

According to Legg, Williams told police that taking her two-year-old toMichigan(where, according to court documents, Williams has been living since August), was her mother’s idea.

Williams, who is now eight months pregnant, was sentenced to serve 30 days to 15 months in prison. She has been held at the Susquehanna County Correctional Facility since Oct. 4.

Williams had arranged a one-day visit with her son on Oct. 1. The boy was supposed to be returned to his father, who has primary custody of the child, by7 p.m.An order issued out ofSusquehannaCountyholds that visitation is to be arranged under mutual agreement between both the parents.

Instead, Williams drove the child toMichigan, without telling the boy’s father; changed her cell phone number; and blocked the dad from her Facebook account – a way they had previously communicated.

Public defender Linda LaBarbera told the court Williams wanted to take the boy toMichiganto visit family, specifically a grandparent who is ill.

The toddler’s father, LaBarbera said, would not agree to that arrangement. The defense attorney said Williams’ had no intention of keeping the boy with her permanently inMichigan.

President Judge Kenneth Seamans said, “Do you understand what you did was wrong?”

He told her she could have petitioned the court to arrange for the child to travel with her toMichiganfor a visit.

Legg said the way Williams carried out the conduct – by cutting off all contact with the child’s father – was troubling.

“I could not imagine being a parent and not knowing where a child is,” Legg said.

In addition to the jail time, Williams was also ordered by the court to pay over $1442 in restitution to the county for costs incurred in bringing her back fromMichigan.

Williams also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge stemming from an unrelated incident, April 18, in Great Bend Twp., and sentenced to serve 15 months probation on the count and pay $115 in restitution to Pump N Pantry, Inc.