PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The charges brought against a mother accused of snatching her two kids from Rhode Island have revictimized the woman, according to her attorney.
Elaine Yates, 69, was arrested last week and brought across the country to be arraigned for taking her children and leaving the state 31 years ago. Attorney Lisa Holley called the entire situation a huge mistake by the Attorney General.
“They made a very bad error charging her back in 1988. But two weeks ago, we think they made a huge mistake when they decided to arrest her on these baseless charges,” Holley told Eyewitness News by phone.
These charges should be dismissed, she said.
According to Holley, Yates had no choice but to leave Rhode Island with her daughters back in the 80’s.
“In 1985, the Domestic Violence Protection Act was not in place. She had nowhere else to turn,” Holley stated.
Yates and her daughters have been in Texas ever since.
Yate’s daughters were aware of the situation before their mother’s arrest, according to Holley.
After she pleaded not guilty to one felony count of abduction of a child prior to a court order, Yates was allowed by officials to return home to Texas.
Holley, while hopeful that the charges against Yates will be dismissed, said the mother was still exposed. “And now she’s being subject to this violent man contacting her and she’s in fear for her life again,” Holley said, referring to the father, Russell Yates.
Eyewitness News attempted to contact Russell Yates on Tuesday but was not able to reach him.
Yates and her daughters were listed as missing in 1985, but Yates was not charged until 1988, when there was a temporary change in a law that was applicable to her situation, said Holley.