March 23, 2023

A California mother arranged for her estranged son to be kidnapped after he filed for emancipation, after which the youngster drove 27 hours to a boarding school.

Shana Gaviola, 35, is said to have embarked on the plan in August 2021 only to find out the unnamed 17-year-old boy wanted to legally divorce her.

Gaviola, of Fresno, has been charged by a federal court with violating a protective order over the incident and remains in custody.

The boy, who had successfully filed a restraining order against Gaviola, was approached by a “transfer team” from the Agapé Boarding School for Boys in Missouri.

He was working his job in Fresno at the time and was ordered into a rental car after being given a falsified police report by two men.

The boy had taken his phone from him and handcuffed his back, and was driven to Agape for 27 hours.

His journey continued despite the two people responsible for the transfer being called to tell them that what they were doing was illegal.

Sandoval also allegedly ignored that instruction.

Upon arrival at the school, the boy was held there for eight days, until he was released on the instructions of his father, who has not been named.

Julio Sandoval, 41, was arrested this week along with Shana Gaviola, 35, for knowingly violating the restraining order issued against her by Gaviola’s son. Sandoval arranged for the teen to be apprehended and handcuffed from his job in Fresno, California, to the Missouri school

The previously granted restraining order meant that Gaviola could not legally stalk or contact her son or restrict his movements in any way, as she was accused of assaulting him.

The judge also ruled that only the teen was allowed to own and operate his mobile device.

Despite being notified of the restraining order by police, Sandoval instructed his transportation team to continue their journey from California to Stockton, Missouri, according to a report in the SF Chronicle.

Gaviola pleaded not guilty in federal court earlier this week. She is currently in custody and faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. Sandoval faces the same sentence.

Sandoval was fired from his job as head of the Missouri school last year after five staffers were accused of abusing children. There are currently calls for the Missouri Attorney General to shut down the controversial institution

A lawyer for Gaviola told the Washington Post that his client “had valid reasons for what she did.”

“There is more to the story than the accusers put forward in the indictment. Ms Gaviola’s position will evolve as this case progresses,” attorney Tony Capozzi told the outlet.

No further details about her apology have been shared.

According to court documents, Gaviola’s teenage son started living with a different family from his mother in 2020.

The Agapé School markets itself as an “affordable boarding school specifically designed for boys struggling with academics or behavior,” but after Sandoval’s arrest, there have been demands to close the institution.

“It sounds like torture chambers designed for God knows what,” said Ed Gross, a civil rights attorney in Missouri, according to

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“I don’t understand how such an institution can continue to exist, especially given all the blatant things they do to children and prey on desperate families,” he said, urging Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt to close the school. to close.

According to the local outlet, five of the school’s employees were charged with abusing children.

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit this week after the federal indictment was unsealed on Tuesday. According to DOJThe investigation was a joint effort between the FBI, the Fresno Police Department and the Clovis Police Department.