April 1, 2011
NYC Model pleads guilty to taking Toronto baby
By: CBC News Click here for the CBC NEWS STORY
A New York Model and actor has admitted to abducting a Toronto baby at a bogus Bollywood movie casting call last December.
An aspiring actor and model from New York City has admitted to abducting a Toronto baby at a bogus movie casting call last December.
Michelle Marie Gopaul pleaded guilty to one count of child abduction in a Toronto court last Friday morning. She has been sentenced to 2 ½ years in addition to the time she has already spent in custody.
Gopaul, 25, was arrested during the early hours of Dec. 31 after police recovered one- month- old Roma Patel. The baby had gone missing four hours earlier at A la Carte Videos- a western Toronto production studio- during a purported casting call.
The baby’s parents had responded to an ad on Craigslist that offered $15,000 in compensation for allowing their baby to be used in a film shoot.
Before she was sentence Friday, Gopaul tearfully told the judge she was afraid to give the baby back so she handed the infant off to her ex- boyfriend because she knew he would return the child.
She said she had “never been in trouble with the cops before: and didn’t know what to do, adding that she was sorry.
“Everyone thinks I’m a bad person but I’m not a bad person,” she told the c, shaking and crying.
Her lawyer Gary Batasar told the court Gopaul had been taking medication for sleeping and anxiety and had a history of depression.
Police said at the time of the arrest that Gopaul had been living in Toronto for several months.