BANGOR — A woman who snatched a newborn baby from his mother’s hospital room a year and a half ago was back in court Monday, accused of visiting Eastern Maine Medical Center without first notifying hospital security.
Nicole Yablonka, 28, of East Corinth was in Penobscot County Superior Court accused of violating her probation by going to the hospital for treatment, but failing to notify security that she was there.
Justice Margaret Kravchuk entered a denial to the charge on Yablonka’s behalf, after Deputy District Attorney Michael Roberts said his office was not sure what, if any, punishment it would seek to impose if Yablonka were found to have violated her probation.
Yablonka, meanwhile, stated in court that she and her fiance did notify hospital security on May 19, when she went to the hospital for treatment. She said there apparently had been a lack of communication between security shifts so the second shift was not told by the first shift that she was on the premises.
She said that when she realized the misunderstanding had occurred, she was able to get the name of the security officer she spoke to on that day and on Monday she provided Roberts with that name.
Roberts said Monday morning that Yablonka had the right to be at the hospital for legitimate business, but that as a condition of her probation was required to notify security each time she was in the building.
Yablonka sent shock waves across the state in November 1996 when she walked into a hospital room dressed as a nurse and took a sleeping 8-hour-old infant from his mother’s arms.
She and the baby were discovered two hours later at Mid-Maine Medical Center in Waterville. The infant was unharmed and returned to his parents, who have remained unidentified.
Yablonka pleaded guilty to kidnapping and was sentenced to 10 years in prison with all but one year suspended. With good time and time served figured in, Yablonka actually served only about five months in jail.
She also was placed on probation for six years. The terms of that probation prohibit her from having contact with children younger than 10 without parental consent and from visiting any hospital without notifying her probation officer and hospital security.
Kravchuk agreed to continue a hearing on the matter for 30 days. Meanwhile, Roberts said he would be trying to determine if Yablonka actually did check with hospital security on May 19.
“If we determine that she did check in then we would withdraw the motion,” Roberts said.
If it is determined that she did not notify security, Roberts said, he would ask that the failing be placed on Yablonka’s records, but would not recommend any punishment.
Roberts said his objective was to stress to Yablonka the importance of abiding by her probation conditions. Even if no penalty is imposed, it would go on her record in case she violated her probation again, he said.
Yablonka was accompanied by two people. After the preliminary hearing Monday morning she stayed inside the courthouse for about an hour, refusing to leave while media cameras were outside.
Eventually she managed to slip out a back door undetected by the media.