State v. Pender, 243 N.C. App. 142 (Sept. 1, 2015)

Vacating two of the defendant’s second-degree kidnapping convictions on grounds that the plain language of G.S. 14-39(a) does not permit prosecution of a parent for kidnapping, at least when that parent has custodial rights with respect to the children. The court explained:

“[T]here is no kidnapping when a parent or legal custodian consents to the unlawful confinement of his minor child, regardless whether the child himself consents to the confinement. The plain language requires that only one parent -- “a parent” -- consent to the confinement.

The court was careful to note “We do not address the question whether a parent without custodial rights may be held criminally liable for kidnapping.” (footnote 2).