A New Hampshire mother will serve 10 months in county jail after pleading guilty to custodial interference stemming from her removal of her daughter from the county in 2004. At the time, Genevieve Kelley had accused the child’s biological father of sexually abusing the child. Kelley’s husband was sentenced to five months in county jail assisting in the act. They spent ten years living in Honduras and Costa Rica until her daughter was 18 and beyond the court’s control.

Based on other reports, after authorities failed to charge her ex-husband with sexual abuse, Kelley felt she had no alternative than to flee with the child. This began an incredible life on the run for the family, which including Kelley giving birth to a son (now 10) while in Honduras. It is also incredibly complicated: the allegations made by Kelley gradually turned to suspicions about her and whether she was, in fact, brain washing her daughter into believing an incident of abuse occurred. The child, seven at the time of the alleged abuse, displayed bizarre and troubling behavior and, when prompted on video by her mother, stated an allegation of abuse.

It is uncertain as to whether this is a case of a mother protecting her child from an abusive parent, or a manipulating and alienating woman who successfully kept her daughter from having any contact or relationship of any kind with her father – both during her childhood and now, in her emancipation, when the court cannot order any form of reunification. As Nestor Ramos of the Boston Globe points out (linked above), by pleading guilty, the Kelleys prevent the biological father, Mark Nunes, from having any trial and the opportunity to get his story into the record or have  his daughter hear from him directly. Their efforts to keep the child from her father was truly all encompassing.


Aaron Weems is an attorney and editor of the Pennsylvania Family Law Blog. Aaron is a partner in Fox Rothschild’s Blue Bell, Pennsylvania office and practices throughout the greater Philadelphia region. Aaron can be reached at 610-397-7989; aweems@foxrothschild.com, and on Twitter@AaronWeemsAtty.