A Brazilian native pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing his 3-year-old daughter from the girl's mother in Simi Valley last year and fleeing with the child to South America.
Antonio Belchior, 33, entered his plea two days after his daughter returned to the United States from Brazil with her mother, Deputy Dist. Atty. Scott Hendrickson said.
Belchior, who has been in the Ventura County Jail since the first week in June, was told by Superior Court Judge Charles R. McGrath that he will be released from custody when he is sentenced Aug. 18, Hendrickson said.
The defendant will be placed on probation at that time and will be ordered to obey any custody rules handed down by a family law judge, the prosecutor said. Unless authorized by the family law court, Belchior may have no contact with his daughter or her mother, Hendrickson said.
Belchior stole the child, who is now 4, in June 1992 from Inacia Godinho, who was living in Simi Valley at the time. Hendrickson said the couple were never married and there was no court order at the time regarding custody of the child.
The prosecutor said Belchior took the girl to Brazil, where she lived with his parents. While in custody, Belchior authorized his relatives to release the girl to Godinho, who traveled to Brazil to pick up the child, Hendrickson said.
The prosecutor said he believes it is appropriate for Belchior to be released from jail next month, "based on the circumstances surrounding the reasons for the father abducting the child."
Hendrickson said he could not elaborate on what those reasons were.