B-4 THE NEW MEXICAN Santa Fe, N. M., Fri., Oct. 31, 1980
Woman may give abducted daughter to court for care
BOISE, Idaho (GNS) - An Idaho woman, charged with kidnapping her 8-year-old daughter, held out the slim possibility this week that she might be willing to turn the child over to a Boise court.
But the condition Geni Gilmore set for Alysia's return - that the child be "100 percent protected" from what she termed as kidnapping by a religious cult - may be impossible for the court to grant.
"Even if there's one-millionth of a chance this (kidnapping) could happen, I can't take that chance," she said. "This is my child."
Gilmore, 29, was charged in Boise with second-degree kidnapping after she failed to return Alysia to her ex- husband, Michael Clary, who has custody and a Nebraska court order for the child's return.
She said the girl's father has ties to the Divine Light Mission, a controversial Florida-based sect led by 22-yearold Marahaj di, that could harm the child.
Although a warrant has been issued for her arrest, Gilmore said she feels safe, adding: "Nobody is going to arrest a person for kidnapping. The FBI is not going to get in it. The local police consider this a domestic problem.
"I am a law-abiding citizen. I never, ever break the law, I go 55 miles per hour on the Interstate."
On Monday, Gilmore met in Baker, Ore., about 130 miles west of Boise, with two Idaho Statesman reporters and Boise lawyer Paul Buser, who is trying to encourage settlement of the tangled custody dispute.
Buser was invited by the newspaper after he offered in court to represent the child without charging a fee.
He said later that this case indicates the need for independent evaluation of custody in divorce cases. "It's not just this case," he said. "It's the public policy and representation of children that's important."
The meeting was arranged by Statesman reporter Ellen Marks, who first wrote about the case and was jailed on Sept, 10 for refusing to disclose confidential information about Gilmore. She is free pending an appeal, but Magistrate Karen Vehlow fined her $500 a day. The fine continues to mount.
Marks said she arranged this week's meeting, which she also attended, by leaving a message for Gilmore with an anti-cult clearing house.
Gilmore drove to the meeting in a small car with Texas license plates, but declined to say where she now lives. After she asked for expense money, the Statesman paid her $25 for gasoline.
She said she moved out of Idaho a month and a half ago and is now doing volunteer social work and relying on friends to make ends meet. She had worked as a teacher's aide, and said, "As soon as I find a job that pays well to support us, I'll take it."
Alysia is doing well, she said, and probably will enter a school program for gifted children. "You should see her, she's really progressed in two months," she said. "She looks good. Her cheeks are getting rosy."
But when her mother mentioned the subject of a foster home, Alysia cried, said Gilmore. "I said don't worry."
"The little girl has had enough happen to her; she wants to be with her mother and her sisters," she said, referring to her 10-month old daughter Marianthi from her current marriage and a 10-year-old child from what has been called a "previous relationship." She blames Clary for her separation from her current husband, Randy Gilmore, left behind when she disappeared with her three daughters In early September. "I miss my husband so much I can't stand it," she said.
At the meeting this week, Buser proposed that the court appoint a guardian for Alysia, appoint him as her attorney and order an evaluation to determine what to do with the child.
If the child was represented by her own lawyer, Buser had told Vehlow, the court might "take a look at the merits of the case first before rubber-stamping any order that came out of Nebraska."
Full consideration of the case in Idaho "may cause the mother to surface to allow this case to go forward," said Buser, who is a Boise School Board trustee and an editor of the American Bar Association's "Family Advocate" journal.
Vehlow said she would consider Buser's suggestion "very strongly when I have the child."
At the meeting this week, Gilmore was receptive to Buser's proposal and indicated that she might be willing to appear in court. But she hedged on turning over the child.
And she repeatedly interrupted the lawyer, saying that the Divine Light Mission was a threat.
Clary has said he does not have strong ties to the group and that he has not pushed his beliefs on his daughter.
But his ex-wife, who said she had been treated for mental problems in Nebraska and California but now is "emotionally stable," disagreed. "He is very involved in it."