Gloria Williams, who nearly two decades ago took a baby girl from a Florida hospital and raised the child as her own, was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison for kidnapping.
“There are no winners and no losers in this case,” Fourth Judicial Circuit Judge Marianne Aho said before imposing the sentence, CNN affiliate WJXT reported. “It’s a very sad case and many people have suffered, including Ms. Williams.”
The sentence, including five years to be served concurrently for custodial interference, marks another chapter in a sorrowful family tale that began hours after the birth of Kamiyah Mobley on July 10, 1998, at a Jacksonville hospital.
Williams, 52, who pleaded guilty to the two counts in February, posed as a hospital nurse to take Mobley. The infant’s mother, Shanara Mobley, told investigators a woman she believed was a nurse entered her room and left with the newborn, according to a report filed with the sheriff’s office.
Williams, who used fraudulent documents to raise the child as Alexis Manigo in South Carolina, may not profit from her crimes while incarcerated, according to Aho. She will not be allowed to write a book or make a movie deal.
She will receive credit of 511 days for time served and has 30 days to appeal the sentence.
In court, Williams said the kidnapping occurred at a time when her life was spiraling from depression and the torment of an abusive relationship, WJXT reported.
“I know I wronged you and I’m so sorry,” she said, apologizing to Kamiyah and her biological mother. “And so many days … so many days I just wanted to pick that child up and say, ‘Get in the car. Let’s go.’ I just couldn’t.”
The young woman has since accepted that she was born as Kamiyah Mobley and that the woman who raised her kidnapped her but still asked the court for leniency, WJXT reported.
Detectives, following a tip to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in August 2016, interviewed a witness who said Kamiyah had claimed she was kidnapped from a Jacksonville hospital as a baby, according to the affidavit for Williams’ arrest.
A DNA test during the investigation revealed that Kamiyah was the infant.
Court documents showed that Kamiyah may have known about her hidden past for months before Williams’ arrest.
Williams was extradited to Florida in January 2017 and charged with kidnapping.
Kamiyah, who has met her biological parents, told HLN last year that she loves Williams and still considers her her mother.
“I still feel the same way about her,” she said at the time. “My feelings toward my mother will never change.”