September 14, 2015
A man accused of abducting his then-4-year-old daughter from her mother in La Habra and keeping her in Guatemala for more than a year pleaded not guilty Friday to a child abduction charge, officials said.
Felipe Alexander Delgado, 23, picked up his daughter from the home of her mother on July 26,2014, La Habra police and Orange County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
Delgado, who had formerly been involved in a romantic relationship with the girl’s mother and had no formal custody agreement, was supposed to return the girl home after a day trip to the beach, officials said.
Instead, “Delgado is accused of abducting (the girl) by forcing her to travel with him to Guatemala and not telling her mother where he was taking the child,” according to the statement.
The mother reported her daughter missing to La Habra police the following day, according to the joint statement. Soon after, “the defendant is accused of calling (the mother) from an unlisted number and would not tell her where he and the child were and refused to bring her back.”
But Guatemalan authorities deported Delgado back to the U.S. Sept. 5 after arresting him on a warrant, officials said. The girl and mother were reunited Aug. 28.
Delgado pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony child abduction charge Friday in Orange County Superior Court, records show. He was scheduled to return to court Nov. 16 for a pre-trial hearing.
If convicted as charged, Delgado faces up to three years in state prison.
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