U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven today sentenced Andrew Haley Morcombe (51, United Arab Emirates) to the maximum term of three years in federal prison for international parental kidnapping. The court also ordered Morcombe to pay a $95,000 fine and $90,000 in restitution.
Morcombe was found guilty by a federal jury on April 23, 2018.
According to evidence presented at trial, Morcombe kidnapped his daughter on May 2, 2014, during a weekend of scheduled time-sharing. To do so, he falsified court records and submitted an emergency passport application to British Consulate officials containing false information on behalf of his daughter. Morcombe and his daughter then flew out of the United States, and ultimately, onto the United Arab Emirates, a country with which the United States has no extradition treaty. Morcombe’s actions violated a then-pending state court order, which prohibited him from departing the United States with his daughter without court authorization and from applying for a new or replacement passport on behalf of his daughter.
Morcombe asserted a statutory affirmative defense at trial under Section 1204(c)(2), claiming that he kidnapped his daughter so as to flee domestic violence. Evidence and testimony introduced at trial, however, showed that Morcombe had no evidence that his daughter had ever been abused.
This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stacie B. Harris and Kaitlin R. O’Donnell.