Judges didn’t know what to do with this one and had to call for help from district attorneys. Two woman showed up in court, one of them claiming that Keanaendigo James, 22, was supposed to sell her child when it was born.
The other woman, unnamed, had given James $1,700 and they two women agreed James would give up her baby when it was born in June. However, James decided to go back on her offer and not give up the child.
The woman took her to small claims court, where it actually took judges a little while to figure out that a baby was a part of the dispute. The judges then called in district attorneys who charged James for theft and dealing in infant children. The baby is now safe with its father.
A small claims civil complaint has led to criminal charges against a woman accused of agreeing to sell her newborn daughter for $1,700.
Keanaendigo M. James, 22, whose last known address was in Williamsport, is wanted on charges of theft and dealing in infant children.
She never sold her daughter born July 21 and the infant is safe with her father, who took her from the hospital, chief Lycoming County Detective William Weber said Thursday.
According to the arrest affidavit, James last April 27 entered into a notarized agreement to give her daughter right after birth to a woman who paid her $1,700.
The woman did not get the baby, and on Sept. 6 she filed a civil suit in the office of District Judge Allen P. Page III seeking the return of her $1,700.
At an Oct. 25 hearing, James admitted she owed the $1,700 and agreed to a judgment against her for that amount.
Page said it was only when he began asking questions about the $1,700 that he learned a baby was part of the transaction. He immediately contacted the district attorney’s office, he said.
That led to Weber’s investigation and the filing of charges. “For the best interest of my unborn daughter,” is the reason James gave for wanting to give up the baby, he said.
After spending the better part of November unsuccessfully looking for James to question her, Weber said he filed charges Dec. 15. He is still trying to locate James.
Weber said she has worked as a dancer in men’s clubs, locally and in New Jersey. Weber said she may have been working in Camden, N.J. for a while but may be back in the area.