Parents Accused Of Stealing Education For 5-Year-Old Daughter - New York News

Parents Accused Of Stealing Education For 5-Year-Old Daughter

Posted: Updated:
Hamlet and Olesia Garcia addressed reporters Thursday and insisted they aren't criminals. The two are charged with education theft. Hamlet and Olesia Garcia addressed reporters Thursday and insisted they aren't criminals. The two are charged with education theft.
PHILADELPHIA -

Hamlet and Olesia Garcia insist they are not criminals- just a married couple going through a tough time, and trying to do what's right for their young daughter.

"We never have an intention to deceive anyone," says Hamlet with a heavy sigh. "These charges, we believe, are based on a misunderstanding by the authorities."

The Garcias are charged with theft of service- a felony- by Montgomery County authorities, in a case that has parents all over the country talking.

The Garcia's live in Philadelphia- on Philmont Terrace- near the Montgomery County border.

By rights, their then-5 year old daughter Fiorella should have attended kindergarten last year, at nearby Loesche Elementary school- still within the city.

But the couple says when they separated prior to last school year, Olesia took Fiorella to live with mom's father in Huntingdon Valley, and the little girl attended Pine Road School in the Lower Moreland district.

The couple says they reconciled late in the school year, and mom and daughter moved back to their Philly address.

It was around that time, that Montgomery County authorities began to investigate.

They claim the family never officially lived in the Lower Moreland district, and so, had scammed the district out of a $10,753 out-of-district tuition payment.

Says Hamlet: "All we want is, to pay the tuition and ask the DA please to drop the charges."

The couple's attorney calls the case a misunderstanding, and an invasion of privacy.

"We're getting really into people's personal lives," said Thomas Kenny during a midday news conference. "And once we get into people's bedrooms, I think it's a time for all of us to change this constitution."

Parent activists who support the Garcias, say the real crime, is how we fund our public schools: live in a wealthy neighborhood, get the best of everything. Live in a poor neighborhood, and make due with less.

"It should never be a crime for a parent to do what is right for their child," says Gwen Samuel of the Connecticut Parents Union. "And one of the rights and obligations we have as parents, is to make sure that our children- and all children- have access to a great education."

FOX 29 was unable to reach Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman Vetri for comment on the Garcias' claims.

The couple is due in court December 19, for a formal arraignment.

If convicted on the theft charges, they could- at least in theory- spend time behind bars.

  • Bruce Gordon ReportsMore>>

  • SEPTA Rider: Couple With Toddler Seemed "Out Of It" On Train

    SEPTA Rider: Couple With Toddler Seemed "Out Of It" On Train

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:55 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:55:19 GMT
    Camera-phone video captured a disturbing scene aboard a SEPTA subway train. The video shows a shoeless toddler in a stroller and witnesses say the adults with her seem to be "out of it." The couple was on a train on the Market-Frankford Line on Sunday morning.


    Camera-phone video captured a disturbing scene aboard a SEPTA subway train. The video shows a shoeless toddler in a stroller and witnesses say the adults with her seem to be "out of it." The couple was on a train on the Market-Frankford Line on Sunday morning.

  • Nazi war suspect, 89, dies as extradition OK'd

    Nazi war suspect, 89, dies as extradition OK'd

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:22 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:22:14 GMT
    An 89-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect died in custody hours before a U.S. ruling Wednesday that he should be extradited to Germany to face trial.
    An 89-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect died in custody hours before a U.S. ruling Wednesday that he should be extradited to Germany to face trial.
  • Getting Results: Resident Fed Up With Living Next To Vacant Home

    Getting Results: Resident Fed Up With Living Next To Vacant Home

    Wednesday, June 11 2014 10:24 PM EDT2014-06-12 02:24:23 GMT
    Fox 29 is working to get results for one local woman who fears for her safety.In a region filled with rowhomes, a homeowners’ worst nightmare is the home next door becoming vacant, and slowly disintegrating.Sharon Redwood says she's owned her home on West 6th Street in Chester, Delaware County, for most of her adult life.She says the place next door has been vacant for years.It’s become an eyesore, and a dangerous one at that."The roof has fallen from the third floor, down to the basement. (F...
    Fox 29 is working to get results for one local woman who fears for her safety.In a region filled with rowhomes, a homeowners’ worst nightmare is the home next door becoming vacant, and slowly disintegrating.Sharon Redwood says she's owned her home on West 6th Street in Chester, Delaware County, for most of her adult life.She says the place next door has been vacant for years.It’s become an eyesore, and a dangerous one at that."The roof has fallen from the third floor, down to the basement. (F...
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Aire Ancient Baths

    A relaxing bathhouse in busy Tribeca

    A relaxing bathhouse in busy Tribeca

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:29 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:29:51 GMT
    Deep beneath the hustle and bustle of Tribeca lies a modern-day oasis brimming with old world charm: Aire Ancient Baths, my new favorite city escape. The breathtaking spa is illuminated by hundreds of candles and smells of invigorating eucalyptus. For around $80 you can bathe in the tranquil blue pools for 90 minutes and find the temperature that's right for you.
    Deep beneath the hustle and bustle of Tribeca lies a modern-day oasis brimming with old world charm: Aire Ancient Baths, my new favorite city escape. The breathtaking spa is illuminated by hundreds of candles and smells of invigorating eucalyptus. For around $80 you can bathe in the tranquil blue pools for 90 minutes and find the temperature that's right for you.
  • NYC stores with no signs feed curiosity

    NYC stores with no signs feed curiosity

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:40 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:40:09 GMT
    From coffee shops in Brooklyn to restaurants in Manhattan, we find speakeasies standing out by blending in. When people in Bushwick want a green machine juice blend they visit Leticia Castillo's Owl Juice Pub. But first they must find the owl. "We been doing fine without a sign," Castillo says.
    From coffee shops in Brooklyn to restaurants in Manhattan, we find speakeasies standing out by blending in. When people in Bushwick want a green machine juice blend they visit Leticia Castillo's Owl Juice Pub. But first they must find the owl. "We been doing fine without a sign," Castillo says.
  • NY brothers invent machine that makes CPR easier

    NY brothers invent machine that makes CPR easier

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:40:57 GMT
    Only 10 percent of people who get CPR from a bystander actually survive. But two young men in Westchester County have now patented a device that could dramatically increase those odds and save lives. John and Chris DiCapua's sitting room in their parents' Westchester County home has had a unique guest lying around for quite a while now: a CPR dummy. What began as an idea from their time as Boy Scouts is now a device that could potentially save lives.
    Only 10 percent of people who get CPR from a bystander actually survive. But two young men in Westchester County have now patented a device that could dramatically increase those odds and save lives. John and Chris DiCapua's sitting room in their parents' Westchester County home has had a unique guest lying around for quite a while now: a CPR dummy. What began as an idea from their time as Boy Scouts is now a device that could potentially save lives.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices