Former Isle of Palms resident faces international kidnapping charge

Former Isle of Palms resident faces international kidnapping charge

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Dorothy Barnett went in front of a federal judge Monday and pleaded not guilty to kidnapping her own baby daughter back in 1994.

It was the first time in two decades that Barnett has been seen publicly on U.S. soil.

The former Isle of Palms resident is accused of fleeing the country with her 10-month-old daughter, Savanna, when she did not have custody.

Federal officials say Barnett used fake identities to obtain passports and raised her daughter, for the next 20 years, primarily in Australia.

Barnett was arrested in Australia last November and spent nearly a year behind bars there, before being extradited back to Charleston last Friday.

Her, now grown, daughter has publicly remained supportive of her mother but was not present at Monday's court hearing.

Barnett is facing one count of international parental kidnapping and two counts of providing false statements in a passport application. In all, the indictment could carry a maximum sentence of 33 years in prison, if convicted.

Barnett's attorney, Russell Mace, says she has loved ones traveling to Charleston from out of the country. Mace says they may be able to provide property to put up for her bond.

Barnett, 54, will remain behind bars at The Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center until further notice.

Mace says Barnett's family members may be present at future court appearances in Charleston.

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