Tuesday, August 29, 2000

Mother short on support arrested

By Dan Horn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Kathleen Wuest called New York last week to see if she could be a guest on a Montel Williams Show about “deadbeat mothers.”

        Prosecutors say it was a role she was born to play.

        They say the Westwood woman would be the perfect guest for the talk show because she owes more than $7,600 in child support payments to her 11-year-old son.

        But Ms. Wuest's plan for TV stardom unraveled when police found out about it. They arrested her Saturday in Camp Washington.

        “I think this demonstrates that she doesn't take this too seriously,” said Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen.

        Ms. Wuest, 28, now faces up to one year in jail. She is charged with a felony count of failing to support her child for at least two years..

        Although dozens of parents in the county owe more money, Mr. Allen said Ms. Wuest is the first to publicize her debt by seeking a national TV audience.

        He said police learned she had contacted the Montel Williams Show from an anonymous informant.

        A spokesman for the show confirmed Monday that Ms. Wuest had called the program when she found out producers were seeking mothers who do not financially support their children.

        “She will not be a guest on the show,” said the show's spokesman, who asked not to be identified. “She didn't work out.”

        Mr. Allen said the show rejected her after her son's father, who has custody of the boy, refused to appear on the show.

        Prosecutors, however, remained interested in her story.

        “We still wanted to find her, and we did,” Mr. Allen said. “We take these cases seriously.”


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