SYRACUSE, NY—United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced that Jeffrey Shipman, 52, formerly of Liverpool, New York, entered a guilty plea to day before Hon. Norman A. Mordue to a federal indictment charging him with international parental kidnapping. By his plea, Shipman admitted that on July 12, 2007, he left the United States with his then 3-year-old daughter, flying from JFK Airport in New York City to London-Heathrow Airport, with the intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of the mother’s parental rights. Shipman further admitted that he kept the child outside the United States for the next four-and-a-half years, traveling from England to Germany, France, and Thailand. He ultimately turned himself and the child in to authorities in Bangkok, Thailand, in March of this year. The child, now 9 years old, has been reunited with her mother.
The crime of international parental kidnapping carries a maximum sentence of 36 months’ imprisonment and up to one year of supervised release. Shipman and the United States Attorney’s Office have agreed on a binding sentence of 30 months’ imprisonment and one year supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for January 4, 2013.
Shipman’s arrest was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Marshals Service. Shipman is being prosecuted by AUSA Lisa Fletcher, Project Safe Childhood Coordinator for the Northern District of New York.
Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice and led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.