DENVER -- A Colorado woman accused of plotting with supporters of QAnon to have her son kidnapped from foster care pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping on Friday.
Cynthia Abcug's lawyer, Ara Ohanian, entered the plea during an online court hearing. Abcug, who has been released from jail, appeared by video too but did not speak during the short hearing.
Judge Patricia Herron denied Ohanian's request to have Abcug's GPS monitor removed or to change an order that prevents her from having contact with her two children.
Abcug's son was removed by social workers from their home in Parker in suburban Denver in January 2019 after Abcug was suspected of lying about his health problems. She lost custody of her daughter last fall after the then 15-year-old told her therapist that her mother was working with QAnon supporters to kidnap her brother. Her comments led police to open their investigation.
Christina Brigham, a lawyer who represents Abcug's children in separate court proceedings over who should have custody of them, told Herron that Abcug is cooperating with social workers to try to gain the ability to visit her children. However, she said the GPS monitor was an important part of maintaining the children's placements because of “worry and concern." She did not elaborate.
QAnon is a wide-ranging conspiracy fiction spread largely through the internet, centered on the baseless belief that President Donald Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals. It is based on cryptic postings by the anonymous “Q,” purportedly a government insider.
Prosecutors have not laid out what Abcug’s role was in the alleged scheme.
The vast majority of the evidence presented against her so far has come from her daughter, who admitted to learning to “tune out” her mother and was unable to provide many details about the plot.
She told police that her brother’s foster family had been portrayed as “evil Satan worshippers” and “pedophiles.” She also said two men came to their house to provide security as the kidnapping discussions were going on.
Abcug is scheduled to go on trial Feb. 8, 2021.
This story has been corrected to change the crime Abcug is charged with to conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping