AUGUSTA, Maine — A Fairfield woman who fled the state with two of her children not in her legal custody was found guilty of two counts of felony criminal restraint by a parent after a jury trial Wednesday in Kennebec County Superior Court.
BethMarie Retamozzo, 36, is scheduled to appear at a sentencing hearing on Friday, Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Wednesday afternoon.
Retamozzo is out on bail. The Class C felony crimes she was found guilty of are punishable by up to five years in prison.
The criminal restraint charges against Retamozzo stemmed from August 2013, when she failed to return Joslyn Retamozzo, then 7, and Joel Retamozzo, then 6, to their grandmother’s home in Waterville after a supervised visit.
The person supervising the visit allowed Retamozzo to put the children into her vehicle with the understanding that they would meet the supervisor at a park in Fairfield, Waterville police said at the time. Retamozzo and the children did not show up and a search began.
Retamozzo, the two missing children and a third child of hers, who was 2 at the time and who was in Retamozzo’s legal custody, were located three days later at a rest area on Interstate 95 by South Carolina Highway Patrol, Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said. The children were unharmed, and Retamozzo was arrested and eventually returned to Maine.
A senior South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper said at the time that the four were asleep when they were found by troopers, who were on the lookout for a 1999 Nissan Quest with a New York license plate that Retamozzo was driving.
The children had been in the court-ordered custody of their grandmother for several years, and by leaving the state with them, Retamozzo violated an order from a Somerset County probate judge that allowed only supervised visits with the children, according to previously published reports.