Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: November 18, 1978
NOTE: Much of the information taken from Kent’s testimony completely contradicts Hollie’s experiences and even some of the details that were provided to Michelle by her adoptive father in 2017. We briefly discuss these issues and inconsistencies in this post.
By RENEE WINKLER
A Superior Court judge in Camden has denied an appeal by a Burlington County attorney who had been turned down for Camden County’s pre-trial intervention program.
The program, which has been in operation in Camden for more than two years, diverts defendants in criminal cases from trial. Instead, the defendants are placed on supervised probation for three months. At the end of that period, the criminal charges are dismissed.
The lawyer, Edward Kent, 52, who has a practice in Willingboro, was indicted in April by a Camden County grand jury on charges of illegally acting as an intermediary in the adoption of six children.
According to the indictment, Kent had instructed the natural mothers of the children to deny that he participated in placing the children with others families.
It is illegal in New Jersey to place children for adoption without going through a state agency.
Kent is also charged with obstruction of justice for filing false reports with the Camden County prosecutor’s office when it began to investigate the adoptions.
The indictment covers alleged incidents between Dec. 4, 1976, and May 7, 1977.
Kent had been rejected for the pre-trial program b the county’s probation department.
In arguments Friday before Superior Court Judge I.V. DiMartino, Kent’s attorney, Carl D. Poplar, claimed the ruling to reject Kent was arbitrary.
Poplar also said Kent’s alleged violations were technical ones and were not evidence of corruption and that his indictment was the result of the county prosecutor’s decision to test the law.