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WILLIAMSPORT — The Lycoming College honors graduate accused of helping a father take his three sons to Saudi Arabia illegally claims she is innocent of charges in a federal indictment.

WILLIAMSPORT — The Lycoming College honors graduate accused of helping a father take his three sons to Saudi Arabia illegally claims she is innocent of charges in a federal indictment.

Cori Lyn Mancuso, 22, wearing a head scarf, entered a not guilty plea Thursday, when she appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Arbuckle III in U.S. Middle District Court.

She remains free on personal recognizance under electronic monitoring at her parents’ home in Stroudsburg pending jury selection scheduled for June 2. She surrendered her passport.

Mancuso is charged with conspiracy to remove a child from the United States and three counts of international parental kidnapping, the same as the boys’ father Majed Sayed, 35, who is in Saudi Arabia.

Since the United States and Saudi Arabia do not have an extradition treaty in child custody matters, Sayed will not be arrested unless he travels to a country that does. Interpol has been made aware of the arrest warrant, the FBI said.

After the court session, Mancuso, who was arrested April 1 getting off a plane in New York City for a planned visit with family, retrieved luggage the FBI had seized at that time.

A courtroom observer was the boys’ mother, Jessica Socling of the Jersey Shore area. “I needed to see for myself what was going on and prove to myself I could handle it,” she explained afterward.

Mancuso seemed pretty cavalier about the charges, she said, adding there are three children whose lives have been ruined.

Sayed and Mancuso were married in an Islamic ceremony in Williamsport prior to him taking his sons to Saudi Arabia. The marriage is not considered legal in the United States or Saudi Arabia.

Socling, who has filed for divorce in Lycoming County, said she has tried through members of Sayed’s family to get him to mediate their dispute, but he has ignored the effort.

Her only direct contact with him was after he and the boys got to Saudi Arabia, she said. The children call her but not as frequently as they had been, she said.

Mancuso is accused of helping Sayed plan to take Muhammad, 8, Ibrahim, 6, and Elyas, 4, to Saudi Arabia instead of returning to their mother on Nov. 24 as a custody order required.

Sayed, who was enrolled in a master’s degree program at Shippensburg University, is alleged to have flown with his sons from Williamsport to State College and then to Washington’s Dulles Airport where they boarded a flight to Saudi Arabia.

Mancuso, who graduated magna cum laud from Lycoming College last May, flew Dec. 7 to Saudi Arabia to join him, the indictment states.

She told the FBI that Sayed planned the kidnapping beginning in October because Socling had used the U.S. court system to gain custody and his ability to see his sons was limited, the indictment alleges.

Socling said she continues to work with the Saudi consulate in New York City to get back her children but without success.

The White House has forwarded to the State Department a copy of an online petition she started about her plight in international parental kidnapping in general, she said she learned recently.

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