Friday, 23 July 2010 00:00
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that a Jacksonville, Florida woman has been charged with stealing more than $7,000 from a Port Washington couple to whom she had promised to give her baby for adoption despite already promising the baby to another couple.
Jessica Dreves, 33, was arraigned on Monday morning on a grand jury indictment charging her with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree. She faces up to three-and-a-half to seven years in prison if convicted. Bail was set in the amount of $5,000 cash or bond. She is due back in court September 21.
Rice said that in March 2009, Dreves agreed to give up her baby for adoption to a Massachusetts couple through the Iowa-based adoption agency, Abby’s One True Gift. In addition to that agreement, Dreves then answered an advertisement from Lisa and Joseph Weiner of Port Washington who were looking to adopt a baby. Dreves, who was due to give birth in October 2009, also agreed to give this couple her baby, Rice said.
Rice explained that the Weiners sent Dreves more than $7,000 for food, clothing, and rent, but lost contact with her in late September. When an attorney for the Weiners attempted to locate Dreves, it was discovered that Dreves had an agreement with Abby’s One True Gift to give her baby to the Massachusetts couple.
Dreves was eventually located at a hospital in Jacksonville where she had just given birth to a baby girl. When Lisa Weiner called Dreves’s hospital room and identified herself, Rice said, Dreves hung up the phone. The Weiners then filed a complaint with the Port Washington Police and Dreves was arrested February 13. The child is believed to currently be in the custody of Dreves’s mother.
“To promise an innocent, loving couple the joy of parenthood, and then to snatch it away in order to steal a few thousand dollars is unconscionable,” Rice said.
Assistant District Attorney Vickie Curran of the Government & Consumer Frauds Bureau is handling the case for the DA’s Office. Dreves is represented by Eric Sears, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations at this time and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.