Two individuals, including the former dean of a boarding school located in Missouri, have been charged on Tuesday for kidnapping a teenage boy in California in order to take the child to the school in Missouri.

An indictment was released on Tuesday showing that Shana Gaviola, 35 years old, and Julio Sandoval, 41 years old, were charged with violating a restraining or protective order and forcibly taking Gaviola’s teenage son to Agape Boarding School in Missouri using Sandoval’s own transportation company, according to FOX 2.

Gaviola was reportedly slapped with a restraining order to stay away from her teenage son, who was emancipated from her in 2020 and reportedly filed the domestic violence protection order in Fresno, California, where he was staying, Kansas City Star reported.

“The restraining order advised defendant Gaviola that she could be charged with a federal crime if she made the protected person travel out of state with the intention of disobeying the order,” the indictment said.

Despite that, Sandoval’s transportation company Safe, Sound, Secure Youth Ministries tracked down Gaviola’s son in Fresno and forcibly took him to a car, keeping him handcuffed for 24 hours until the vehicle reached the boarding school where Sandoval was working as a dean. The boy remained there until his father picked him up eight days later.

Sandoval has declined to comment regarding the charges levied against him, but Gaviola’s lawyer has claimed that she had not known about the restraining order and had kidnapped her son to protect him, the Daily Beast reported.

“What’s in the indictment is not totally accurate to what happened. It only presents one side of the story. If Shana Gaviola had known there was a valid restraining order, this wouldn’t have happened. That’s all I can say at this point,” lawyer Anthony Capozzi said.

Sandoval’s criminal case for potential kidnapping is one of the many cases facing Agape Boarding School, which faces multiple sexual abuse and assault complaints against former faculty members, as well as accusations of forcing its students to do unpaid labor and extreme physical activities.

Sandoval worked as the dean of the school for ten years until he was forced to resign following the mounting sexual assault and abuse cases filed against faculty members of the school.

The charges against the two carry a sentence of up to 5 years in prison as well as a US$250,000 fine.

Two individuals, including a former dean of a Missouri boarding school, were charged with violating a restraining order by allegedly forcibly taking a teenage boy across state lines to force him to attend the boarding school. This is a representational image. niu niu/Unsplash.

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