SAN DIEGO — A judge today threw out child-stealing charges against a fundamentalist Christian woman, saying he didn't think she intended to keep her son away from his homosexual father.
Superior Court Judge Douglas Woodworth granted a motion of acquittal filed by lawyers for Betty Lou Batey. The judge told jurors he would have let them decide the case had he not been convinced that evidence pertaining to the law involving the charge was lacking.
"It's time to put an end to the anguish and torment to all three players in this tragedy," Woodworth said.
The decision ended a court fight that took more than five years, including custody disputes, civil contempt and criminal child-stealing charges.
Thrown Out Earlier
The child-stealing charges against Betty Lou Batey carried a three-year state prison term and were refiled by prosecutors after a now-retired judge threw out identical charges in 1985.