Jury Member Says Woman Who Abducted Child From School Bus Was 'Overcharged'

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A woman who allegedly lied to a bus driver and abducted a 3-year-old girl in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will not serve any jail time.

Marian Moussa, 28, was sentenced to one year probation after she admitted to taking the girl from the bus and driving around with her for three hours before handing her over to police.

Moussa took 3-year-old Maryanne Curiel, her neighbor, from the bus she rode after school on Jan. 14, 2013. Police say she lied to the bus driver and claimed she was Curiel’s mother.

While she had the girl, Moussa allegedly made several contacts with police claiming she was related to the girl, that the child was being abused, that there was a bomb in her backpack and that she was malnourished, according to court testimony.

Although she kept the girl for nearly three hours, she told police she didn’t mean to kidnap the girl. She says she waited for the girl’s parents to show up and when they didn’t she made every effort to give her to the authorities.

Moussa was found not guilty of kidnapping on July 18.

She was found guilty of misdemeanor charges for marijuana possession and resisting police on Tuesday.

A member of the jury told MLive that prosecutors had overcharged Moussa and they could not find any evidence that she had intended to kidnap the child.

Moussa had no previous criminal record.

Sources: MLive,

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Bill McChesney, Rose Bennett/MLive