When Child Makes Internet Match, Court May Be a Parent’s Only Recourse


Katherine Lester’s parents can prohibit her from reuniting with a Middle Eastern man she met on an Internet site. She is 16, a minor, and still under care of her parents, according to Michigan law. But realistically, there may be little they can do to keep her home, short of having a court declare the teen incorrigible, legal experts told the Detroit Free Press. Lester left her Michigan home last week and headed to Tel Aviv, Israel, to meet the man known on MySpace.com as Abdullah Psycho. FBI agents found her in Amman, Jordan, and brought her back to Michigan. The two had planned to marry.

The case has become the focus of international media attention. The girl turns 17 soon, and Lester’s parents fear she will return to the Middle East to see the 20-year-old man, Abdullah Jinzawi. Experts say that should she decide to leave home again, police may not want to look for a runaway at that age, particularly if her parents and authorities know where she is. Neither Abdullah Jinzawi nor Lester has been charged with a crime. Michigan law allows children as young as 16 to wed with parental permission. It also allows 16-year-olds to become what’s known as emancipated minors, freeing them from parental control.

Link: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2006606150373

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