Although Moises Garcia sat in the audience behind bullet-proof glass, a Milwaukee County Judge spoke directly to him regarding his previously kidnapped daughter, Karina Garcia.
"I understand, Mr. Garcia, you are very concerned about this and I certainly sympathize with you as a parent myself, but it's not within my control. I cannot continue the GPS," Judge Mel Flanagan said Tuesday.
Karina was kidnapped by her mother, Emiko Inoue, in 2008 and taken from her Fox Point home to Inoue's native Japan on the day that her father, Garcia, was having divorce papers served. She was forced to return her daughter in December 2011 after being arrested in Hawaii.
Since her release from prison, Inoue has been forced to wear a GPS bracelet which allows the court to monitor her location at all times. She currently faces two felony charges: interference with custody beyond visitation and interference with child custody — other parent. If she is convicted on both counts, she faces up to 12 1/2 years in prison.
But Tuesday, Inoue and her attorney, Gerald Boyle, celebrated the removal of the bracelet.
"We're delighted," Boyle, said. "She's delighted to have it removed. She's been abiding by everything that they told her to do and hopefully we'll end up terminating this thing someday — but it's a tough, tough situation. But the judge has been very kind. The prosecutor wanted some things, we got it to him and he accepted them. She'll be off the GPS."
Although the Judge Mel Flanagan ruled in favor of terminating the GPS monitoring for Inoue, she said her reasoning was based on legal qualifications.
"I have to stop the GPS," Flanagan said. "It's not authorized at all for deferred prosecution and we've done it for nine months. Originally, I did it because I didn't know I could do it and then now that I found out, I've been giving my marching orders from our Chief Judge that we cannot continue to do it."
For the full story on Karina Garcia’s abduction, Moises’ fight to be a father and her reintegration to America, Click Here.
Inoue was required to complete two tasks initially to remove her GPS bracelet: Sign a document that says that she will not attempt to obtain a visa, passport or any other travel documents; and provide a legitimate, certified copy of the document proving that she has withdrawn her custody appeal in the Japanese Supreme Court. She filed papers in July from the Osaka High Court in Japan saying that she had withdrawn her appeal, and at the
"That term has now been complied with," Assistant District Attorney Matt Torbenson said Tuesday.
Inoue testified under oath that she has no procured any travel documents, passports or otherwise for Karina since she was detained in Hawaii and that she has withdrawn any and all legal actions she began in Japan. She also acknowledged that Garcia has full custody of Karina in both the United States and Japan.
When asked if Inoue would like to comment on the GPS removal, Boyle declined on her behalf.
"It's worse now because we don't have the securities," Garcia said.
Inoue is still under supervision, despite no longer being required to wear the GPS monitoring bracelet. She has fulfilled one year of her three-year probation requirement.
Garcia said his next move is to file a motion for contempt in the family court case between Inoue and himself.
"In the civil case we may be able to testify about Japan and we're going to ask the judge to find her in contempt," Garcia said. "I want the court to find that she violated court orders issued in February and those violations have damaged me, economically, emotionally. If the judge finds her in contempt, that would be a violation of US law and she'd have to come back here."
Ultimately, Garcia said he's going to keep fighting until he feels his daughter is safe.
"The fact that the judge here didn't find her guilty doesn't mean that she's not guilty," he said. "But we have enough to find her guilty."