A Broward County mother and her boyfriend sit behind bars as her young daughter is in the custody of a Central American government after being sent there to avoid testifying at his trial on child molestation charges.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports the 11-year-old told school officials she had been molested by the boyfriend, 38-year-old Jose Urquilla, starting at the age of five.
Shortly after that, Urquilla was arrested and the mother sent the girl from their Fort Lauderdale home to live with relatives in El Salvador to avoid appearing in court, according to prosecutors.
The mother, who was not identified, was charged with contempt of court while her lawyers claimed the child took back the accusations. Prosecutors in the case were told the girl’s testimony was the only that would be heard in the case and are now working to get her back.
The mother’s two sons were removed from her home in January while the daughter is awaiting her return to the United States. A court date has not been set in the contempt of court case. Urquilla’s next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, with his trial scheduled to start in March.