MANHATTAN FEDERAL COURT — The woman who pleaded guilty to kidnapping a 19-day-old baby from Harlem Hospital in 1987, and raising the child secretly as her own in Connecticut, was sentenced to 12 years behind bars Monday.
The ruling comes just days before the 25th anniversary of baby Carlina White's disappearance from Harlem Hospital.
Ann Pettway, 50, born Annugetta Pettway, pleaded guilty to the kidnapping in February 2012, more than a year after the girl she had raised as her daughter, Carlina White, stumbled upon the discovery that she was taken as a child.
White, who had believed Pettway was her mother, became suspicious when she sought prenatal care and needed a birth certificate, which Pettway could not furnish, saying she had been given White as a baby by a woman who used drugs.
Pettway "inflicted a parent's worst nightmare on a young couple who was only concerned about the health of their baby," U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel said during the sentencing.
"Ann Pettway snatched an ailing newborn from a hospital, and with that kidnapping she shattered three lives," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement, following the judgment. "The life of the child who would not know her parents, and the lives of her parents who were left to wonder what had become of their baby."
"While this sentence certainly cannot compensate them for what they lost, it is our sincere hope that they can repair the breach that was caused on that terrible day.”
Castel also sentenced Pettway to three years of supervised release, following the 12-year prison term.
"I think she should serve at least 23 years," Joy White said in February, to make up for each of the years of her child's life that she missed.