A mother in Oahu, Hawaii said she could go to jail for illegally fleeing to Japan with her infant son in the middle of a fierce custody battle.
Eileen Tojo admits to breaking the law when she took her son, Blaze, who was reported missing on Jan. 7, 2013, and three other children from a different father from the island of Oahu to Japan, HawaiiNewsNow reported.
But she said she only fled to protect her little boy, and that she’d “rather sit in jail than have my son get killed or hurt.”
Tojo was ordered by the court to stay in Hawaii with the boy as she was in an intense custody dispute with the child’s father, who Tojo says deserves to be sent to the slammer.
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“It’s the same feeling as if he had died, not knowing if I’ll ever see him again,” the boy’s father, whose identity has been withheld, told the TV station.
The father, backed by his attorney, Ann Isobe, adds that the domestic abuse claims made by Tojo are completely false and that the mother had kidnapped their son Blaze.
“The true victim in the case is not Eileen Tojo but it is this innocent child, his father and his immediate family who have been irreparably harmed,” Isobe continued.
Tojo’s arrest in Hawaii earlier this year ended a four-and-a-half-year international criminal and missing child case. She was permitted to say farewell to her children, and the boy was finally reunited with his father.
“I was so happy to be reunited but at the same time, he didn’t know who I was,” he said.
Tojo is currently out on bail, and is not allowed to contact or be anywhere near her son and the father’s family. She pleaded no contest to two counts of custodial interference, and could face up to five years in prison when she is sentenced in December.