TRANSCRIPT: Joseph Reyes on Being Barred From Taking Child to Church

REYES: I don't want a protracted legal battle, for one. This could be over if Rebecca was reasonable. I have made many concessions to Rebecca. But Rebecca doesn't want me in Ela's life. It's hard to sit there and say, 'well, let's agree to disagree on certain things. You be a great mom to our daughter, I'll be a great dad to our daughter. And, you know, the rest will fall into place. But if one parent doesn't want the other parent in the child's life, you can't reconcile that with a simple document or a simple agreement.

CUOMO: You worried about the exposure of your daughter to this situation?

REYES: Absolutely, I don't want my daughter to know that her parents can't get along or even that, you know, her parents don't like one another. That's a terrible thing.

CUOMO: What is the reality of the relationship between you and Rebecca right now.

REYES: I find Rebecca's character very very questionable because, this is a mother that knows, has acknowledged that I am good for Ela, and yet, she wants to see me put away for 6 months? Forget about what she wants done to me or what her personal feelings are about me or whether or not I violated the law in a court order. Why would you disrupt your child's life for 6 months?

CUOMO: What do you think the answer to that is?

REYES: You would have to ask Rebecca.

CUOMO: Her lawyer says that's what the law is. That when you violate the order, you're asking for up to 6 months in the Cook County Jail.

REYES: Rebecca and her attorneys made the conscious decision to pursue this criminally as opposed to civilly. This is a civil matter, divorce is handled in the family courts, those are civil courts, they wanted to make this a criminal matter. It's disingenuous of them to make it sound like this is Joseph having done something, he brought it upon himself. No, it's not that.

CUOMO: Why didn't you baptize your daughter when most Catholics do, you know, a few months after the kid's born; why'd you wait so long?

REYES: Because there was part of me that wanted Ela to get an appreciation of what she was being baptized into, you regarded as being introduced to the faith or whatever the case might be, but I wanted Ela to have an awareness as to what was going on. That was really how we got to that point. Ela and I were sitting here, one Sunday morning and she asked where her grandmother and her great grandmother went. And I said they went to church, and she wanted to know about church, so then we went to church and she decided that she wanted to get more involved, and I talked to her about baptism and she wanted to do it. It was a great day.

CUOMO: She's 3, right?

REYES: She is 3.

CUOMO: Not that compelling an argument that the 3 year old wants it, that's why you did it. I mean, you know, right?

REYES: Well, certainly she doesn't understand the symbolic aspect or the relevance of it or however you look at it. I happen to think it's a major occasion in someone's life, but I'm Catholic so that's how I regard it.

CUOMO: It is, but we do it, Catholics, when the kids are very young, and the idea 'well I wanted the kid to have an appreciation, that's why I waited'? Well then you'd wait till she was some kind of teenager or something like that, where she had some kind of independent thought and drive and purpose.

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