Bonnie Anne Sweeten, the Feasterville woman who fled to Florida with her 9-year-old daughter after faking their abduction, faces a preliminary hearing Thursday in Bucks County.
Sweeten, 38, is scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. before District Judge William J. Benz in Richboro. She will face charges of identity theft and making a false report to police.
The twice-married mother of three was catapulted into the national limelight last week after she phoned 911, claiming that she and daughter Julia Rakoczy had been abducted by two men whose car had rear-ended theirs.
An Amber Alert was issued, but Sweeten's report proved false; police checking surveillance videos at Philadelphia International Airport saw the mother and child boarding a plane to Orlando, Fla.
Sweeten was arrested inside a Disney World resort Wednesday and returned to Bucks County after waiving extradition. Arraigned late Friday before Benz, Sweeten was freed after posting $100,000 bond, one-tenth of her $1 million bail.
She was in seclusion with relatives at an unknown Pennsylvania location to avoid reporters camped outside her Saxon Drive home in a prosperous development of 15 houses. Louis R. Busico, Sweeten's attorney, said she would undergo mental-health treatment.
Police have said that Sweeten fled to avoid questions about money missing from a firm where she once worked.
Yesterday, Julia Rakoczy appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, along with her father, Anthony Rakoczy, 40, and sister Paige, 15. The freckle-faced girl told interviewer Diane Sawyer that her trip with Sweeten to Disney World started out as "fun" but turned "scary" after Julia saw her own photograph on TV.
A photo of the child, described by neighbors as a "little spark plug" brimming with energy, was circulated as part of the Amber Alert.
Anthony Rakoczy told Sawyer how Julia was coping with what her mother did and what it meant.
"We talk a little bit about it," Rakoczy said. "She tells us a little bit more, and we kind of process the whole thing. We're kind of taking it slow.
"We're trying to make sure these guys [Julia and Paige] are doing fine. Their mother doing what she did . . . it's just hard."
Rakoczy said he hoped law enforcement officials give his ex-wife a break.
"This whole media hype, it's not the person that she is. I've known her for 20 years," Rakoczy said.
Asked by Sawyer what message she would send Sweeten, Julia said she loved her mother and missed her.
Asked the same question, Paige said that "everybody makes mistakes."
"She just needed some time, obviously, but we're happy that she's OK now and she's home," the teenager said.