Phoenixville Mother Convicted of Kidnapping Her 6-Year-Old Child

Rebecca KirshenbaumRebecca Kirshenbaum (Submitted Image)

WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office announced that a jury convicted 50-year-old Rebecca Kirshenbaum, of Phoenixville, of the kidnapping of a minor, concealing the whereabouts of a child, and endangering the welfare of a child. The defendant, out on bail for interference with custody and concealing the whereabouts of a child, failed to return her 6-year-old child to a temporary guardian in Feb. 2021. She will be sentenced later.

DA Deb Ryan said, “Rebecca Kirshenbaum not only refused to abide by her custody agreement but also deceived the Court by not returning her child to a guardian despite agreeing to do so. Her lies and deception have caught up to her, and she finally faces justice. Unfortunately, a young child has suffered because of her actions.”

In the spring of 2020, Phoenixville Police received multiple complaints about the well-being of the defendant’s 2 young children. Police were unable to locate the defendant and child for several weeks as they investigated the complaints. The defendant was arrested and charged with concealing the whereabouts of a child and interference with custody after investigators also learned she had not returned one of her children to his father at the designated time, per their custody agreement. She was released on bail on the condition that she not have unsupervised contact with her children.

After failing to appear for multiple court dates, a bench warrant hearing was held on Feb. 16, 2021, at which time the defendant was ordered to immediately return her 6-year-old to his temporary guardian and to have no unsupervised contact with the child. The Court granted the defendant permission to leave and return the child to the guardian, but she failed to do so.

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The defendant and child were unable to be located on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18 during a major snowstorm. Child welfare investigators were able to make contact with the defendant, but she refused to say where she or her child was. Investigators located the defendant and child on Feb. 19.

Judge Jeffrey Sommer presided; Chester County Detectives and Phoenixville Police investigated; Deputy District Attorney Erin O’Brien prosecuted.

Call Childline at 1-800-932-0313 if you suspect a child is being abused.

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