SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. - A man is behind bars after he and his girlfriend backed out of an adoption. The couple that was supposed to get their baby said they were scammed.
He isn't even two weeks old, but little Zachary Micheline is at the center of a legal battle that put his dad in jail.
"I never once had any intention of selling a baby ever, and that's what they're saying," Shaun Micheline said from the San Joaquin County Jail.
Micheline faces multiple felony charges, including grand theft in what some are calling an adoption scam.
The couple who agreed to adopt Zachary said Micheline and his girlfriend Sandy Boucher convinced them to help them move from New Jersey. But Boucher said it was the other way around, that the adoptive parents urged them to make the move to California.
"They were all, 'we'll help you with Christmas; we'll help you with whatever you need.' So they're the ones that wanted us out there," Boucher said.
The adoptive mother said in over three and a half months, she and her husband spent more than $20,000 on the couple in the hopes of adopting the baby, but Micheline said he never demanded that kind of money.
"She spent $17,000 the first two days she flew to New Jersey, okay? That was their choice," Micheline said. "If I needed something, I'd email her and say, 'hey, I need a gallon of milk, can you put $5 on our card? She'd put $2 or$ 3 hundred on our card."
The real problems began two months before Zachary's birth when Boucher told Micheline she changed her mind about giving up the baby. When Micheline tried to explain this to the adoptive mother, he said she threatened him.
"'If you guys back out, my husband's not a stupid man. He will press charges against you. You will go to jail, and Sandy will be deported for this,'" Micheline said the adoptive mother warned him.
Boucher, who was born in France, said she tried to stick with the plan until a critical moment.
"What other choice? Getting deported, Shaun going to jail 'cause of all the money she put into it already, so I said, 'okay fine, I will go along with it.' Then the baby came in the hospital and I wasn't supposed to see him, and I saw him," Boucher said.
"At the end of the day, on March 13, Sandy said, 'you know what, I need my son. I cannot live without him.' And now it's all on me," Micheline said.
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