Local News

Quets Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping

Posted September 14, 2007 10:40 a.m. EDT
Updated September 14, 2007 7:34 p.m. EDT

— Allison Quets pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of international parental kidnapping in the December abduction of twins she gave birth to from their adoptive family in Apex.

Quets, who has been incarcerated since she was apprehended in Canada a few days after the abduction, was allowed out of jail until her sentencing hearing, scheduled for Dec. 17.

"I'm glad to be out," Quets told reporters as she and her attorney, Kathleen Mullin, left the federal courthouse in Raleigh Friday afternoon.

Quets, who was carrying a garbage bag filled with letters she received while in the Franklin County Jail, might stay with a friend in Wilmington while awaiting sentencing, Mullin said.

Following a weekend visit with twins Holly and Tyler, who were 17 months old at the time, Quets didn't return the children to their adoptive parents, Denise and Kevin Needham of Apex, on Dec. 22.

Quets was arrested nearly a week later in Ottawa, Ontario, and the children were returned to the Needhams.

Prosecutors said Quets had planned for months to take her children and obtained passports for them. But Quets and her supporters said she only wanted to be with the children, noting she only agreed to the adoption because she was under stress after a difficult pregnancy and had contested the adoption for months.

As a condition of her release, Quets was ordered not to have any contact with the children or the Needhams, unless a Florida court overseeing the adoption litigation rules otherwise.

Mullin said she and attorneys for the Needhams have discussed allowing Quets to resume a relationship with the twins.

"We look forward to her having an opportunity to recreate a relationship with her children in whatever form or fashion possible," Mullin said. "Everything that has happened in this case was because Allison wanted to be a mother, and she still wants to be a mother."

"I want to see them again more than anything," Quets said, calling the twins "the most important thing in the world" to her.

"I have to wait for the process to take place, but of course, it's on my mind every day, every minute," she said.

The Needhams issued a statement Friday afternoon through their Florida attorney, saying they were pleased with the outcome of the criminal case against Quets.

"We are anxious to get this phase behind us," they said in the statement. "Our primary concern is the well-being of our family and maintaining our children's privacy."

The negotiations between Quets and the Needhams aren't connected to the criminal case, Mullin said.

"Nothing is dependent on anything else," she said. "We're working to try to put it all to bed in a way that everybody can find some closure."

Each count of international parental kidnapping carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison, but Quets already has served the minimum sentenced under federal guidelines. Mullin said she hopes to convince the sentencing judge to let Quets off without any more jail time.

"We're very hopeful she will not have to go back to jail," she said.