With her current husband and her ex behind her in support, Bonnie Sweeten, the Feasterville mom accused of hatching a wild kidnapping hoax last month, waived her right to a preliminary hearing yesterday morning in Bucks County District Court.
Sweeten, 38, who was found at Disney World with her 9-year-old daughter the day after claiming that she was calling 9-1-1 from the trunk of a car, appeared calm yesterday and even smiled as she swam through a sea of reporters to enter the courthouse in Richboro.
Sweeten is charged with making false reports to law enforcement and identity theft. She allegedly stole a former co-worker's ID to buy the plane tickets to Florida.
Louis Busico, her lawyer, said that Sweeten waived the preliminary hearing instead of hearing the evidence against her because she didn't want to relive the experience.
"It in no way furthered her cause to rehash the events of a few weeks ago," Busico said. "It just didn't do anybody any good.
"She wants to move on, she wants to put this behind her."
But with eight news vans outside and a throng of reporters present, quietly putting this saga in the past may be as likely for Sweeten as another trip to Disney World.
Sweeten, a married mother of three, made national headlines and set off an Amber Alert when she claimed that she and her daughter, Julia Rakoczy, had been abducted from their car in broad daylight by two black men in Upper Southampton Township on May 26.
They were found the next day at a ritzy Disney World resort.
Julia was picked up by her father, Anthony Rakoczy, in Florida, and Sweeten was extradited back to Bucks County, where she was released on 10 percent of her $1 million bail.
Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry, who is prosecuting the case, said yesterday that authorities are still investigating allegations that Sweeten stole large sums of money from relatives and from a law firm where she used to work as a paralegal.
Sweeten, in a gray suit, wearing a diamond cross necklace, entered court with Busico and her husband, Richard Sweeten Jr., who is father to her youngest child, a 9-month-old daughter.
Anthony Rakoczy, Sweeten's ex-husband and father of her two elder daughters, showed up a few minutes later.
"Everyone is getting along," Busico said afterward. "There is no discord in that family."
He said that Sweeten is receiving mental-health treatment and is being a "full-time" mom to her three kids.
Sweeten's formal arraignment in Bucks County Court is scheduled for July 24. *