Charleston, SC The couple accused of trying to smuggle a baby out of Japan is set to appear before a federal judge Thursday.
Stephanie Jean Locker and Gerald Vincent Locker, Jr. are set for arraignment at 9:45 AM in Charleston Courtroom #5, U. S. Court House on Broad Street before Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant.
The lowcountry couple, while in Japan, attempted to circumvent legal adoption processes by claiming a baby from the Philippines was their own natural born child, according to the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Lydon of the District of South Carolina .
The couple from Huger was indicted on charges “stemming from their conspiracy to obtain a U.S. passport by falsely claiming” they were the parents of the baby and by using false records to apply for a U.S. passport for the baby.
The indictment alleges that in 2014, Gerald Vincent Locker Jr., 46, a former member of the United States Marine Corps, and Stephanie Jean Locker, 24, were stationed in Japan. While in Japan, the couple “attempted to circumvent legal adoption processes by asserting that a baby from the Philippines was their own natural born child,” according to a statement from the US Attorney’s office.
The matter was presented to the Grand Jury on July 10, 2019. The indictment was returned on July 11, 2019, charging both people with one count of conspiracy and Stephanie Jean Locker with one count of making false statements in an application for a passport.
Both defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating this case. Trial Attorneys Danielle Hickman and Christian Levesque of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean Secor of the District of South Carolina are prosecuting the case.