Plea for leniency in Brazilian kidnapping drama

Marcelle Guimaraes

Marcelle Guimaraes

Lawyers for Brazilian grandparents Carlos and Jemima Guimaraes are asking a Houston federal judge to keep them out of prison.

In court documents filed in a Houston federal court, defense attorney Rusty Hardin says the couple was only protecting their daughter from an admitted perpetrator of domestic violence
when she fled Houston in the middle of her divorce case.

The Guimaraes couple was convicted in Houston federal court of aiding and abetting the kidnapping after the fact, but the jury only saw some of the evidence against their former son-
in-law, Houston doctor Chris Brann.

The couple will be sentenced by Judge Alfred Bennett next Wednesday, December 12, 2018. The legal documents include a report from Barbett Brashear, MSW, the Executive Director of
the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.

“In my professional opinion, based on documents provided and reviewed, Ms. Guimaraes is a victim of domestic violence,” wrote Brashear. A danger assessment done by Brashear says
Guimaraes was in severe danger of being killed.

In 2015, a final decision in the Brazilian court allowed Guimaraes to stay in Brazil indefinitely with her son Nico, ruling Brann’s continued violence against her posed a danger to their child.
Four months later, Dr. Brann initiated the federal prosecution of his ex-wife and her parents. Brann has been waging a public relations campaign against the Guimaraes family for years.

“They are not guilty for anything, I am the one that made the decision to stay in Brazil, I am the one that decided to come here,” Marcelle told Dolcefino Consulting from Brazil. “I am the
one that decided to save my life and my son’s life.”

In recent weeks, Dolcefino Consulting has helped expose the documented violence and sexual disorder that led Marcelle Guimaraes to flee to Brazil. Our investigation also exposed ethical
issues involving the judge in her divorce case, James Lombardino. Brann’s lawyer was Bobby Newman. Newman’s firm and family were Lombardino’s biggest campaign contributors.
Records show Newman also provided free legal help to the Lombardino’s son in his divorce case.

The U.S. State Department records about 1,100 international parental kidnappings a year, but since 1994 only 53 cases have been prosecuted under the statute. Carlos and Jemima
Guimaraes are the first grandparents ever convicted of aiding and abetting an international kidnapping.

“This divorce case was poisoned by conflicts of interest,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, the Houston based Investigative Media firm helping Marcelle Guimaraes.

“It is the root of the injustice that permeates the grandparents’ case. Marcelle Guimaraes sought help from the Harris County family courts and she was ignored,” Dolcefino says. “Her
parents are only guilty of protecting their daughter and their grandson. Wouldn’t you have done the same thing if it was your daughter?”