Update: The hearings have been delayed yet again until August 17.
At long last, the sentencing hearing will be held on July 13, 2017, for the three International Adoption Guides’ defendants, all of whom pled guilty August 29, 2016, to fraud and corruption in their Ethiopian adoption program.
The sentencing hearing for IAG executive director Mary Moore Mooney is scheduled for 1:30pm in Courtroom 2, J. Waties Waring Judicial Center, 83 Meeting St, Charleston, South Carolina, before Judge David Norton.
The sentencing hearing for James Harding and Alisa Bivens is scheduled for 2:00pm, same place, same judge, as for Harding and Bivens.
I’ve written about the case multiple times since the U.S. Department of Justice indicted the three defendants as well as an Ethiopian IAG employee (who apparently remains in Ethiopia) in February 2014. The Justice Department had investigated the cases for years before the indictment, and the actual incidents of unconscionable fraud, bribery, and corruption had occurred years before that.
The victims of these crimes–children and families in the U.S. and in Ethiopia–have been immeasurably harmed by the actions of the IAG staff. Whether the conviction and sentencing will have any impact on adoption agencies, on adoption policies, or on the fate of future adoptions from Ethiopia remains to be seen. It’s been such a long road for the families and children. It is possible that the sentencing date could change, given the nature of the American justice system. I am hopeful, nonetheless, that the sentencing will bring some small measure of peace for the families.
The Case Number is 2012R01249, and the Docket Number is 14-CR-00054.