Adoption, Law & Ethics, News & Media

Newspaper articles about Michelle’s 1976 adoption

If you would like to read some of the newspaper articles regarding the case against the attorney that illegally arranged the adoption, you can view them HERE. In some of the articles, Michelle is the adopted child referred to simply as the December 4, 1976 “incident.”

Many of these articles include statements taken from Kent’s court testimony that contradict Hollie’s experiences, including his heavy involvement after Michelle’s birth. They also contradict information given to Michelle in 2017 by her adoptive father. We will make a separate post about these inconsistencies at a later date.

So far, our research has produced about 12 articles from a variety of newspapers including the Courier-Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The New York Times. We will add a few new articles to this page at a later date.

VIEW ALL OF THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLES HERE

 https://ouradoptionreunion.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/1981convicted.jpg

 

© Christina George / Michelle Lyn Riess/ Riess Family Adoption Reunion, 2017-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to this site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. By visiting this site, you agree to the terms of use for this site.

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Divorce lawyer convicted for adoption assistance (June 1981)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: June 25, 1981

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Law & Ethics, News & Media

Lawyer indicted on adoptions (April 1978)

Original Publication: The New York Times
Original Publication Date: April 15, 1978

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Law & Ethics, News & Media

Lawyer accused in 3 adoptions (April 1978)

Original Publication: The Philadelphia Inquirer
Original Publication Date: April 15, 1978

N O T E : 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 will be writing about these inconsistencies at a later date.

By Francis M. Lordan
Inquirer Staff Writer

A Burlington County lawyer has been indicted on charges that in 1977 he illegally assisted in the adoption of three children in Camden County, Thomas J. Shusted, Camden County prosecutor, said yesterday.

Edward Kent, 52, who has a law office in Willingboro, was named in the eight-count indictment issued Thursday by the grand jury. No hearing date has been scheduled.

The parents and the children who were adopted were identified in the indictment only by their initials.

The indictment also charged Kent with obstructing justice by asking several of the parents not to tell of his involvement and asking another person to mislead investigators, indicating that she would “receive money if she was to mislead the investigators.” It also charged that he gave false information to a former county prosecutor.

If convicted on the eight counts, all of which are misdemeanors, Kent could face a maximum penalty of 24 years in jail and an $8,000 fine.

Shusted said that, according to state law, only authorized agencies may handle the placement of children for adoption.

Two of the children were placed in foster homes in Cherry Hill, and the third in Berlin, he said.

Shusted said Kent was the first person indicted by a grand jury on adoption-related charges since he took office six years ago.

During that period, Shusted said, evidence had been presented to the grand jury on about 10 such cases, including two that involved lawyers. But the grand jury did not indict because it did not find “criminal intent,” Shusted said.

Two years ago, Shusted said, he had sent memoranda to the Camden County Bar Association and the Camden County Medical Society asking them to remind members not to assist in such adoptions.

View Original Article: Click here to view a JPG of the original newspaper article

© Christina George / Michelle Lyn Riess / Riess Family Adoption Reunion, 2017-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to this site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. By visiting this site, you agree to the terms of use for this site.

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Memory fails witness in adoption case (June 1981)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: June 5, 1981

N O T E : 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. This article is particularly disturbing because this biological mother was clearly being influenced in some way to lie or to withhold information about Kent’s involvement in her child’s adoption (read this article about Kent offering to pay her to lie to investigators.) We will be writing about these issues and inconsistencies at a later date.

CAMDEN — A woman who was to have been the state’s chief witness against a Willingboro lawyer charged with acting as an illegal intermediary in a series of adoptions was able to recall only sketchy information about the case yesterday.

When first called by Deputy Attorney General Nancy Singer, the woman said she couldn’t remember anything about her pregnancy in 1977, her meeting with attorney Edward Kent or the couple who adopted her baby.

When pressed by Superior Court Judge Peter J. Coruzzi, the witness remembered coming to the Camden Courthouse in February 1978 to testify in connection with an investigation of three adoptions.

But she couldn’t recall whether she lied during that testimony.

She gave birth to a baby May 1, 1977, and turned it over five days later to a woman she could not identify. At the time, she was living in Burlington Township.

Despite strong objections from defense attorney Carl Poplar, Singer read portions of her grand jury testimony into the record.

The case is being heard without a jury.

Six days of pre-trial motions were needed to compile transcripts of tape recorded conversations between Kent and yesterday’s witness. Poplar is expected to ask the court to exclude some of these tapes from evidence.

Kent, 55, is charged with obstruction of justice and three counts of acting as an intermediary in the adoptions.

Poplar said his client, who specializes in matrimonial matters, did tell pregnant women who did not want to keep their children after birth that he would pass on their names to couples seeking to adopt children. Poplar said Kent told both the natural and adoptive parents that he could not make any arrangements for the adoption.

He said Kent’s involvement ended at that point.  [A note from the Riess family: This is completely false. His involvement greatly increased at that point.]

Yesterday’s witness said she met Kent only once prior to the birth of her child and that she called him to set up the meeting. She did not speak to him again until requested to do so by members of the Camden County prosecutor’s staff, who were investigating allegations that the lawyer participated in several adoptions.

The adoptions occurred between December 1976 and May 1977.

During pre-trial motions in the case last week, reporters agreed to withhold the names of the women who gave up their children for adoption and the couples who adopted the babies.

View Original Article: Click here to view a JPG of the original newspaper article

 

© Christina George / Michelle Lyn Riess / Riess Family Adoption Reunion, 2017-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to this site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. By visiting this site, you agree to the terms of use for this site.

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Lawyer indicted as a middleman for adoptions (April 1978)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: April 14, 1978

N O T E : 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 will be writing about these inconsistencies at a later date.

By RENEE WINKLER
Courier-Post Staff

A Burlington County lawyer who specializes in matrimonial matters was indicted Thursday by a Camden County grand jury for illegally acting as an intermediary in the adoption of three children.

Edward Kent, 52, who has a law office in Willingboro, also was charged with obstruction of justice in the eight-count indictment. None of the children or the couples who wanted to adopt them is named in the indictment, although it specifies that their identities are known to the grand jury.

It was not immediately known if any of the adoptions have been finalized.

Reached at his law office in Willingboro late Thursday afternoon, Kent had no comment on the charges.

According to the indictment, Kent agreed to assist in placing children of three women with families. Knowing that papers later would have to be filed in county court for the adoption, Kent allegedly instructed the mothers to deny that he participated in the placement.

He later induced persons receiving the children to withhold information about his involvement in the placements, according to the indictment.

The indictment also charges that when Kent learned that the Camden County prosecutor’s office was investigating circumstances surrounding the placement of the children, he tried to convince one of the mothers to mislead investigators and withhold information. It further charges that Kent offered to pay the mother if she lied to investigators.   [Note from the Riess Family – now read this article]

The indictment covers incidents between Dec. 4, 1976, and May 7, 1977.

It charges that in February 1977, Kent wrote to former Assistant Camden County Prosecutor Archibald Kreiger and lies about his participation in the adoptions. That letter was in response to questions from Kreiger.

View Original Article: Click here to view a JPG of the original newspaper article

© Christina George / Michelle Lyn Riess / Riess Family Adoption Reunion, 2017-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to this site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. By visiting this site, you agree to the terms of use for this site.

Law & Ethics

High Tribunal Raps Attorney for Conduct (1963)

Original publication: Courier-Post
Original publication date: January 22, 1963

“His conduct is dishonorable and brings the profession into disrepute.” -a NJ Supreme Court Justice referring to attorney Edward Kent

TRENTON (UPI) – The State Supreme Court Monday reprimanded lawyer Edward Kent of Levittown* for bypassing a Pennsylvania lawyer and dealing directly with his client.

The Pennsylvania lawyer, James P. Geoghegan, complained to the Burlington County Ethics Committee that Kent had sought to arrange settlement of an auto accident through direct dealings with Geoghegan’s client.

He said this violated the professional ethics. 

Kent represented Paul Colton, who was involved in an automobile accident with Geoghegan’s client, Harvey P. Moyer. Colton, who had moved from Pennsylvania to Levittown, N.J., was seeking to pay off $1,569.50 to Moyer in order to obtain a driver’s license in New Jersey.

Kent said neither he nor Colton, were able to contact Geoghegan and that he then arranged to meet with Moyer in order to settle the manner of payment. Kent said he worked directly through Moyer because Colton needed to clear up the matter of payment quickly as he needed his car in order to work.

Kent sent a letter of apology to Geoghegan. The court held that because of Kent’s “candor and his acceptable apology,” Kent should not be disbarred from practice but should be reprimanded.

* Levittown is now Willingboro, NJ

© Christina George / Michelle Lyn Riess / Riess Family Adoption Reunion, 2017-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to this site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. By visiting this site, you agree to the terms of use for this site.