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A local millionaire who disobeyed court orders and permitted the marriage of his teenage son will spend time in jail, The Miami Herald reported.
Dan Rotta, 65, was arrested Tuesday on a warrant case for contempt of court, according to online records. Judge John Schlesinger ordered Rotta to spend 180 days in jail.
In November 2010, during divorce proceedings between Rotta and ex-wife Renee Rotta, their 16-year-old son was ordered to attend Logan River Academy in Utah.
“Look my primary and exclusive concern here is getting [the teen] to the boarding school. I’m not going to allow anything to prevent that from happening,” a judge who ordered the move was quoted as saying.
In December 2010, rather than taking his son to the school, Dan Rotta took him to Las Vegas to marry the housekeeper’s daughter. The marriage meant that his son was now legally an adult and could not be accepted into the boarding school due to his relationship status, the newspaper said.
When contacted by the Herald, the 16-year-old said his marriage to 18-year-old Colombian-born Diana Esperanza Mendoza was not a sham.
“We’ve known each other for eight years,” he was quoted as saying.
But Schlesinger said Dan Rotta’s actions were illegal and "clearly attempted to thwart" his son's move to boarding school, according to a court order.
“It is hard for this court to imagine a bolder, more egregious example of indirect criminal contempt,” he wrote in the order.
Defense attorneys for Dan Rotta argued in May that the school decided not to accept the boy before his marriage. His lawyer Neal Lewis plans to appeal the case.