A federal judge in Houston has struck a blow for child abduction, child abuse and violation of law (CBS News, 12/13/18). On Wednesday, Judge Alfred H. Bennett sentenced Carlos Guimaraes to just three months in prison and his wife Jemima to a mere one month for their part in the abduction of their grandson Nicholas Brann by his mother to Brazil.
Nico’s mother, Marcelle Guimaraes, was married to Houston physician Christopher Brann. Nico was their only child. Marcelle filed for divorce in 2012 when Nico was three years old. A Houston court granted the divorce and ordered the pair to share parenting and custody (more on that later). Only then did Marcelle abduct Nico to Brazil with the help of her wealthy parents.
Brann filed suit in Brazil under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Courts there found that Marcelle had taken the boy illegally, but have refused to order his return to his father on the grounds that Nico has acclimated to his life there.