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Washington state woman pleads not guilty in baby theft case

Washington state woman pleads not guilty in baby theft case
Juliette Parker waits to appear in court, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, in a Pierce County courtroom in Tacoma, Wash. Parker, who is accused of posing as a baby photographer in a plot to steal a mother's baby, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of assault and attempted kidnapping. The judge on the case raised her bail from $50,000 to $150,000, and she was re-booked into the Pierce County Jail. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to drugging a mother after authorities say she posed as a photographer in a complex plot to kidnap the mother’s newborn baby.

Juliette Parker, 38, entered her plea to attempted kidnapping and assault in Pierce County Superior Court, The News Tribune reported.

Parker posted $50,000 bail over the weekend and was released. New bail of $150,000 was set Tuesday after prosecutors described her as a flight risk and she was booked again into jail. Parker moved to Washington last year after losing a mayoral election in Colorado Springs, Colorado, The Gazette reported.

On Friday, deputies arrested Parker, who lives south of Tacoma, and her 16-year-old daughter. The teen was expected to be arraigned at a juvenile detention center on the same charges.

Parker connected with mothers through a Facebook group and offered to do free photo shoots of newborns to build her portfolio, according to court documents. Investigators said at least a dozen women have contacted them with stories of interacting with Parker, who also has gone by the names “Juliette Noel” or “Juliette Gaines."

Parker drugged one mother whose Spanaway home she visited earlier this month with her daughter, documents said. The new mom said she was pressured into eating cupcakes they brought and after taking a bite, she said her body went numb. She then asked Parker and her daughter to leave, documents said.

They left but wiped down the drinking glasses they’d used and stole the victim’s house keys, according to court documents.

When the woman texted Parker to ask if she had the keys, Parker said she’d found the keys in her yard and offered to have them delivered, according to court documents.

Documents say the new mom called 911 and doctors said she appeared to have been drugged.

The baby's mother, Elysia Miller, said Tuesday that although Parker was back in jail, it didn't mean she has peace of mind.

Miller urged other parents looking for photographers to have someone with them and to check references, business licenses and reviews, The News Tribune reported.

“Be very careful and trust your instincts,” Miller said.

Detectives said they've found text messages between Parker and an ex-boyfriend dating back to November, when Parker “talked about how they should get a kid from a homeless person and raise the child together in a nice house,” records said. The ex-boyfriend joked about kidnapping a baby and Parker said she’d marry him immediately if he could find her a baby girl in the next five weeks, documents said.

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