Sailor gets 7 years for abducting his kids

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FEB. 20 - A New Jersey man who tried to take his children away from their mother and out of the country on a sailboat was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison on charges of interfering with custody.

A jury in December convicted 47-year-old John Kindt on two counts each of interference with custody and attempted interference, and single counts of contempt and conspiracy, New Jersey’s Asbury Park Press newspaper reported. He was acquitted on two kidnapping charges.

Prosecutors argued that in December 2000 Kindt tried to sail to the Bahamas with his son, then 5, and daughter, then 6, according to the news report. Kindt’s ex-wife, Anne O’Connor, reported the apparent kidnapping, and a warrant was issued for Kindt’s arrest. Kindt was apprehended about a month later when the Coast Guard towed his disabled sailboat off Southport, N.C. The children were returned to their mother.

In court, Kindt admitted his wrongdoing and apologized to his family, according to the report. Kindt’s current wife, Stacey Kindt, served a portion of a seven-year kidnapping sentence for her part in the incident. Charges against Kindt’s 18-year-old nephew, Matthew Aronson, who also was said to have taken part, were dropped.

— Jason Fell