A North Carolina mother is serving a week-long sentence after she ignored judge orders and had her daughter baptized.
Kendra Stocks, 36, started her sentence of a week behind bars on Friday, Feb. 16, after being found in contempt of the court, reported The Charlotte Observer.
“It’s just very sad. It’s all a very sad situation,” she told Fox News at the jail. “I’ll get through this and hopefully come out a better person.”
Stocks had her 2-year-old daughter baptized in 2016 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church one day after a judge gave the child’s father full custody “specifically including decisions concerning religion.”
The girl’s father, Paul Schaaf, found out about the christening when Stocks posted photos of the ceremony on social media, reported the Observer, citing court records. He then made a complaint.
A district court judge in the state found Stock guilty of contempt last March. Judge Sean Smith said the mother acted in “bad-faith disregard” because she went ahead with the ceremony without telling Schaaf or giving him any role in the event in full knowledge that he placed a lot of importance on the ceremony.
Schaff’s attorney told the newspaper that Stock is facing the penalty not for baptizing the child but for ignoring the court.
“For our system to work, there ought to be consequences for willfully and intentionally violating a court order,” the attorney, Jonathan Feit, said.
“I teach my children that. I reject the notion that anybody else is responsible for what is happening besides Ms. Stocks herself,” he added.
According to the newspaper, Stocks and Schaff were in a relationship for only six months which ended in February 2014. Their daughter was born 4 years ago and the pair has since been involved in chronic disagreements regarding aspects of the child’s day to day life including spiritual matters.
Judge Smith’s order said Stocks had shown “very erratic, bizarre conduct” both during the pair’s relationship as well as after their daughter was born. She was said to have “poor decision-making and an inability to cooperate” according to the judge, reported the newspaper.
Stocks said both parents wanted their daughter to be baptized but could not agree how delaying her baptism for some time.
“Her father and I both agreed on baptizing her,” Stocks told Fox News.
“I regret that he wasn’t part of it, but I don’t regret we’re raising her in the Catholic faith, which is what we both wanted,” she added.