Father Faces Jail for Taking Daughter to Church

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A father in the middle of a bitter custody battle is facing jail time for taking his daughter to church.

Joseph and Rebecca Reyes are divorcing and disagree over what faith their 3-year-old child should be raised.

Do parents sharing custody have the right to take their children to church? Regent Family Law Professor Lynne Marie Kohm appeared on Tuesday's CBN Newswatch to discuss the implications of this case.

Rebecca is Jewish. Joseph converted from Catholicism to Judaism after they got married. But when they split up, Joseph went back to the Catholic church and he had their daughter baptized there without consulting her mother.

ABC News Reporter Chris Cuomo spoke to Joseph about what happened next.

"I sent her pictures and I sent her an email," Joseph said.

"How did Rebecca react when told her that you had baptized your child?" Cuomo asked.

"She responded in kind with a motion for a temporary restraining order" he said.

A family court judge forbade Joseph Reyes from "exposing his daughter to any other religion than the Jewish religion, during his visitation." But Joseph ignored the 30-day restraining order and took his daughter to the Catholic church again.

Rebecca's lawyer told ABC News that Joseph is doing this out of spite. 

"It wasn't the religious thing, per se," her lawyer said. "It was just the idea that suddenly, out of nowhere, without any discussion, having never gone to church, have the little girl baptized. And she looked at it basically as an assault on her little girl."

"I have to draw the line in the sand somewhere. And this is where I chose to draw it. My faith means a lot to me," Reyes said.

Reyes was charged with criminal contempt, Tuesday. He'll head back to court next month.

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