Child-Kidnapping Law & Legal Definition


Child-kidnapping means the kidnapping of a child without the element of force. If any person walks off with another’s baby stroller, it amounts to child-kidnapping. It is also called as child-stealing, or baby-snatching.

In State v. Reed, 2006 UT App 220 (Utah Ct. App. 2006), the court observed that “a person is guilty of attempted child kidnapping if the person engages in conduct constituting a substantial step toward child kidnapping, and intends to commit child kidnapping or when causing a particular result is an element of child kidnapping, he acts with an awareness that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause that result.” Further, in State v. Diaz, 2002 UT App 288 (Utah Ct. App. 2002), the court observed that “To convict a defendant of child kidnapping, the State must prove that a defendant intentionally or knowingly, without authority of law and against the will of the victim, by any means and in any manner, seized, confined, detained, or transported a child under the age of 14 with intent to keep or conceal the child from its parent, guardian, or other person having lawful custody or control of the child. Utah Code Ann. § 76-5-301.1(1) (1999). The phrase "by any means and in any manner," includes any incident wherein a child younger than 14 was lured away by a deceptive promise and without the consent of the child's parent or guardian. Moreover, the established rule is that a seizure, detention, transportation, or confinement becomes a kidnapping the moment that the detention begins to be against the will of the victim. In the context of a child kidnapping, a seizure, confinement, detention, or transportation is deemed to be against the will of the victim if the victim is younger than 14 years of age at the time of the offense, and the seizure, confinement, detention, or transportation is without the effective consent of the victim's custodial parent, guardian, or person acting in loco parentis.”