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Couple Gets Jail Time in Decades Old Kidnap Case

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Jul 30, 2002 12:04 pm US/Eastern

(1010 WINS)-NEW YORK -- A couple who fled with a baby 23 years ago and raised him in New Mexico were sentenced to jail terms Tuesday at an emotional court proceeding in Queens.

"These are two people that I love very much; very much," the now-grown Matthew Propp said at the State Supreme Court sentencing of Barry and Judith Smiley, the people he still refers to as his parents.

Barry Smiley, 56, apologized as he was sentenced to two to six years in state prison. He had pleaded guilty to second-degree kidnapping in exchange for that sentence.

Judith Smiley, 55, was sentenced to six months at Rikers Island and 41/2 years probation. She had pleaded guilty to first-degree custodial interference.

They would have faced up to 25 years in prison if convicted at trial.

Propp, an emergency medical technician, spoke to the court about "the pain I'm about to go through, losing my parents."

His biological father, Anthony Russini, spoke of his own pain: "Twenty-three years ago, Barry and Judith Smiley stole my son from me."

The biological mother was not involved in the proceedings.

The Smileys adopted Propp when he was 3 days old. They fled after a judge rescinded the adoption and ordered the baby returned to his biological parents.

Using the aliases of Bennett and Mary Propp, the Smileys raised Propp in New Mexico.

The Smileys turned themselves a few months after telling Propp about his past.

(© 2002 Viacom Internet Services Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Whats everyones opinion on this?

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regardless of the love between them, they still fucked up and they still stole someone else's child after being told to return him to his parents....how would they have felt if their child was kidnapped and kept from his true parents for so long....

such a shame :(

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