Mother stands by claim ex-husband abused son Wimperis lawyer says he was misunderstood

October 01, 1998|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Sharon E. Wimperis, accused of abducting her son after losing a 1990 custody battle, stands by allegations that her former husband abused the boy -- a belief that led to an eight-year flight, her attorney said yesterday.

Defense attorney E. Thomas Maxwell Jr. said his remarks at a bail review hearing Tuesday were misinterpreted in an article in The Sun yesterday. He said Wimperis was wrong to disobey the court order but not necessarily in her belief.

"What I meant to say is, she doesn't recant her statement that her husband sexually molested the child. What she did at that time -- she was wrong in disobeying a court order -- but at that time she was relying upon the expertise of the child-molestation unit of the child-protective services, and the psychiatrist she was sent to and the Maryland State Police.

"So she thought, in the best interest of the child, it was better to get the hell out of there," Maxwell said. "She still believes. She does not recant those reasons."

Wimperis, 50, formerly of Finksburg, remained at the Carroll County Detention Center yesterday in lieu of $100,000 bail, charged with two misdemeanors involving child abduction by a noncustodial parent.

In April 1990, Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. rejected evidence from two of her experts and awarded custody of Adam, then 5 years old, to her former husband, William J. Wimperis of Finksburg. The mother had a regular visitation day and alternate weekends, and was considering an appeal of the custody decision.

But according to a state police report, she and the boy vanished on one of those weekends, and he was not returned as scheduled Sunday, June 17 -- Father's Day, 1990.

Mother and son moved often during the eight-plus years that they were gone, according to an FBI official who talked to The Sun last month on condition of anonymity. Wimperis remained in hiding until Aug. 5, when FBI agents arrested her at her apartment in Belleville, Mich., near Detroit.

The boy, now 13, has been returned to his father.

His mother has been jailed since her arrest and has declined requests for comment.

The case is scheduled for trial Oct. 16 in District Court.

At Tuesday's bail review, Judge Marc G. Rasinsky set several conditions should Wimperis post bond. The judge ordered that she have no visits with her son unless approved and supervised by the boy's therapist, and that she have no contact with her former husband or his wife and stepchildren.

The two misdemeanor charges against Wimperis are abducting a child from custody and keeping him out of state for more than 30 days, which carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine; and abduction by a noncustodial relative and keeping the child inside the state, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.

Pub Date: 10/01/98

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