Wednesday, July 19, 2000

Briton found not guilty of ducking child support




By Mara H. Gottfried
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A jury Tuesday found London-based journalist Charles Aniagolu not guilty of failing to pay $143,529 in child support to his 13-year-old daughter.

Charles Aniagolu
Charles Aniagolu
        Mr. Aniagolu had been jailed since his May 10 arrest at the airport near Atlanta, where he had gone from his London home to interview for a job at CNN.

        He was prosecuted in Hamilton County because the child and her mother had been living here.

        Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen said the decision, which came after three hours of deliberation, was a surprise.

        “I don't know why the jury did what they did,” he said. “It's not going to deter us from being vigilant on these child-support matters.”

        Mr. Aniagolu, 40, was cleared of the criminal charges but will still have to pay child support. Kenneth Lawson, Mr. Aniagolu's attorney, argued that his client was never presented with a court order directing him to pay support for his daughter, who now lives in Chicago with her mother.

        Mr. Aniagolu, a former correspondent for the British Broadcasting Co., was indicted in 1999, along with 68 other parents who authorities said owed a total of $1.3 million to their children.

        “He's always wanted to support his child,” Mr. Lawson said. “The only dispute was the amount the court was trying to get him to pay.”

        Theresa Miller, formerly of Bond Hill, testified Monday that her ex-boyfriend, Mr. Aniagolu, “never sent anything, not a dime” to support their daughter.

        “I had no interest in seeing my daughter's father in jail, but the impact that this will have on my daughter's life in terms of the day-to-day things she needs to have a fulfilling life, these are the things that are in question now,” Ms. Miller said Tuesday from her office outside Chicago.

       



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