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With a Shotgun to Her Head: U.S. Marshals Arrest Mom in Hiding
U.S. Marshals blocked and surrounded Lacie’s car in Santa Barbara, California, some of them jumping on the hood, guns pointed at her through the windshield. A marshal on the driver’s side ordered her out of the car with a shotgun to her head. Lacie was handcuffed and taken away while the marshals high-fived each other.
Lacie’s three children watched in horror as their mom was brutally removed from them at gunpoint. The U.S. Marshals, who so violently and gleefully captured a petite, defenseless mother, should not even have been involved in her case, since it is State jurisdiction, not Federal.
[See below for Campaign to D.A. and Zoom Court Watch Tuesday]
What led up to this unnecessarily vicious take-down of a loving mother?
Lacie had fled into hiding to protect her daughter from physical and sexual abuse by the father, since, of course, Family Court would not. She has two older children by another father (who she has full custody of) who were with her.
Lacie’s daughter bravely told many professionals about the abuse, including CPS, police, a sheriff, court-appointed therapists, MD’s, psychiatrists, private therapists, school therapists, a court-appointed attorney, a MDIC (Multi-Disciplinary Interview Center) forensic interviewer, supervised visitation monitors, teachers, principals, after-school care providers, medical professionals, and the court directly, testifying on the stand.
As usual, the Family Court judges disregarded all evidence the father was abusive and decided Lacie had coached her daughter, despite no evidence of that. Since coaching children is considered emotional abuse, Lacie was deemed a danger to her daughter. This form of discrediting, often referred to as alienation, is done to disempower women who try and protect their children from fathers.
The judge had been threatening to switch custody to the father and was just about to when Lacie fled into hiding from her home in Nevada County, north of Sacramento, down to Santa Barbara County. She only got away for six months before being caught.
Lacie has not been allowed to see her daughter for nine months, ever since she was arrested. The fact that she is not even allowed supervised visitation shows they are purposely isolating the daughter to coerce and manipulate her into silence about the father’s abuse. This is a common strategy in sexual abuse cases.
Lacie is charged with PC 278, a serious felony child abduction indictment. She faces 4 years in prison and a $10K fine.
The child abduction law was never meant to apply to mothers who are trying to escape domestic violence or child abuse. However, there were so many mothers going into hiding because Family Court was failing them that California legislators revised the law. They made it harder for women to use the affirmative defense of fleeing to protect themselves or their children. VAWA provides for this defense, but is almost always ignored by prosecutors.
This revising of the law to favor fathers shows how all three branches of government—legislators, judges, and district attorneys—work in tandem to keep men empowered in their family, and to punish women who inadvertently challenge that male entitlement when they act to protect their children.
The other affirmative defense is that Lacie did not act maliciously, which is an element of the crime. There is abundant evidence that Lacie did not act maliciously to deprive her child of a safe, loving father, but to protect her child from an abuser. If there is any maliciousness going on, it is the malicious prosecution by the D.A. of a loving mother who was only trying to protect her daughter.
To make this indictment of Lacie even more outrageous, the father has been convicted of domestic violence against her and illegal arms possession. He has also been criminally indicted for child abuse, threats, disobeying a Family Court order, and false imprisonment.
And the felon has sole custody while Lacie is being prosecuted on a bogus abduction charge! For D.A. Jesse Wilson to be prosecuting Lacie is unacceptable and inexcusable.
Coalition members are holding D.A. Wilson accountable by showing up at the Zoom hearing on Tuesday and launching a campaign for him to dismiss the charge against her. Please join us.
ZOOM COURT WATCH
On Tuesday, February 1st at 9am Pacific, 12pm Eastern, there will be a preliminary hearing on Lacie’s child abduction charge. The more people who attend the better. Strength in numbers!
Meeting ID: 160 160 3185
One tap mobile: +16692545252,,1601603185#
US Toll-free: 833-568-8864
[Note: don’t forget to mute and turn off your video. You can change your name on your zoom screen for confidentiality.]
CAMPAIGN TO D.A. WILSON
Let D.A. Jesse Wilson know we are watching him and that we will campaign against him if he doesn’t dismiss the charge against Lacie. He was appointed by the Board of Supervisors as an interim D.A. and is up for election in June. The good news is that D.A. Wilson inherited Lacie’s case so may be more likely to vacate a case his predecessor wrongly charged.
Wilson says he is bringing a new face to the office, fighting for justice and fairness. Let’s hold him to that.
D.A. Jesse Wilson: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can cc local media: email@example.com, News@FOX40.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear D.A. Wilson,
I am with The Women’s Coalition and we are requesting you dismiss the child abduction charge against Lacie Newell. She is a loving mother who was forced to go into hiding to protect her daughter from physical and sexual abuse due to the failure of Family Court.
You can view Lacie’s story and our campaign at womenscoalition.substack.com. If you do not dismiss the charge, we will be following up with a campaign against your reelection. Please show you care about justice and safety for women and children by dismissing your charges against Lacie.
D.A. Jesse Wilson: 530-265-1301 [8-5 PT; 12-8 ET; 12am-9am GMT]
Example: Hello, my name is … and I am with the Women’s Coalition. We’ve launched a campaign for you to dismiss the unjust child abduction charge against Lacie Wilson. Please do the right thing and dismiss it as soon as possible. Thank you
The Women’s Coalition has heard from countless women who have not been able to protect their children from the father, especially from sexual abuse, so we are now documenting this crisis. If you’re a mother whose Family Court case involves/involved sexual abuse, please take a few minutes fill out this form. You may remain anonymous.
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