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Woman Gets Jail for Selling Newborn

February 4, 1998

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) _ A Texas woman described as the mastermind in an international baby smuggling case was sentenced today to 2 1/2 years in jail for selling a newborn to another Texan.

Henriette Erika Langenbach, 52, had pleaded guilty to a scheme to sell the infant by having the buyer check into an Auckland motel, pretend to have given birth and leave with the child.

The buyer, 35-year-old Charli Shirley Connelly of Austin, Texas, and an Australian doctor are still facing court proceedings.

High Court Justice Tony Randerson today rejected an appeal from Langenbach’s lawyer that she receive a suspended sentence in view of the six months she had already spent in custody.

Authorities have not found the Indonesian parents of the smuggled baby, now 8 months old, who has been named Paul and has been placed with a foster family.

Police told the court that Langenbach, who was born in Indonesia, had made inquiries for a baby after a friend confided that she was desperate to adopt one but was unable to do so in the United States.

A baby was found in Indonesia and a payment of $350 was made before it was brought to New Zealand in July 12.

Two days after the baby’s arrival, the two women and Australian doctor Guiseppe Barbaro, 49, of Adelaide decided to stage a birth in a hotel.

Hotel staff became suspicious when there were few signs of disorder in the room.

Barbaro, who is charged with fraud for arranging a false birth certificate, will appear in court later this month. Connelly is due for trial on March 3.

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