NAPA, Calif. – Surrounded by family and friends Anna Nepomuceno is in good spirits following a court hearing regarding a motion to dismiss kidnap allegations.
Anna faces these allegations for returning from the Philippines without her daughter, Mackenzie Faust.
Anna’s lawyer, Attorney Stacy Barrett says the reason Anna did not return with Mackenzie is because during her time in the Philippines she lost custody of her daughter.
Mackenzie would be forced to live with her father Jeremy Faust who is accused of molesting her.
Atty. Barrett defends Anna for only wanting her daughter protected against Faust.
“I’m hopeful that the court will ultimately dismiss these unjust and unjustified charges and that we can focus on defending against the abduction charge and reunite Anna with her daughter as soon as possible,” says Barrett.
According to documents provided by Atty. Barrett, there have been multiple allegations that Faust sexually abused Mackenzie and Nichole, Anna’s teenage daughter from a previous relationship.
A silent protest by Anna’s Fil-Am supporters was held in front of the courthouse prior to the start of the hearing.
“We want to fight for all immigrant mothers and folks who migrant from the Philippines to here,” said Marienne Cuison of Migrante Northern California. “We believe the charges against Anna is unjust so we want to seek justice for Anna.”
Mary Siegal, whose daughter is best friends with Mackenzie, adds, “Anna is a great mother and her job is to protect her daughter and that’s exactly what she is doing. Anna, we stand behind you 100 percent. I love them all.”
Balitang America reached out to Deputy District Attorney Holly Quate; however, she declined to comment.
Faust was not present in court.
Balitang America also attempted to call Faust’s attorney, Saxon Beverly Leonard, but have yet to hear back from her.
Meanwhile, Atty. Barrett says she is confident that the justice system will prevail.
“With the wisdom of 12 people from the community, the jurors who will ultimately hear and decide whether or not Anna acted out in a necessity to protect her child,” said Barrett. “I do trust in the wisdom of the jury and I feel that they will find her not guilty and she will be reunited with her daughter.”
Rulings are scheduled to come in a week to determine which charges Anna will be facing during the jury trial on February 22nd.