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Lovettsville father reunites with daughters after seven-year custody battle

Tony Quintana with daughters Victoria and Virginia, Tony’s sister, Star, and his mom, Estrella. Courtesy Photo
After seven years and seven figures worth of expenses, a Lovettsville man has reunited with his two daughters.

The story began in 2009, when Victoria and Virginia Quintana from Loudoun County accompanied their father, Tony Quintana, and their mother, Maria Victoria, to the mother's native Argentina for Christmas. The family had previously alternated their Christmas vacations between Argentina and Puerto Rico, where Tony was born.

“My wife, had some problems with child birth, and she seemed to suffer some depression afterwards, but I imagined she would recover, and she appeared to,” Tony Quintana said.

After Tony Quintana returned to the U.S. by himself for work, the mother “asked to stay” and “kept delaying coming home, claiming she'd lost her passport,” Quintana said.

“When I arranged to come down to help them come back -- and she cooperated in these arrangements – she told me on the day I was to fly to Buenos Aires that she'd filed an action in Argentina to arrest me. I had no idea she was thinking anything like this.”

Tony Quintana was given legal advice not to fly to Argentina in case he got arrested. So he instead went to court in Loudoun. The Circuit Court issued an order awarding him custody and requiring his wife to return the girls from Argentina.

But that didn't happen, and the Loudoun Circuit Court issued another order for his wife's arrest.

“I had to convince local counsel in Argentina that I really had not abused my daughters. He reviewed the charges and found them to be frivolous,” Quintana said.

The Supreme Court of Argentina eventually ruled that the marriage residence and domicile was in Virginia, that the United States had jurisdiction and the Circuit Court decision was valid. The children must be returned to their father, it was determined.

The legal wranglings for Tony Quintana have been long and costly. He said the whole mess, which included family, international and criminal defense counsel, cost him seven figures.

But finally, on May 16, the day came -- Tony Quintana reunited with his daughters he hadn't seen in seven years. Victoria, who was born in 2006, and Virginia who was born in 2008, flew into Dulles Airport and into their father's arms.

“I was very excited to see them but also very sad. I have missed so much of their lives. I had incredible joy but incredible sadness,” Quintana said. “I was trying to hold back the tears, to be cool, calm, and collected but as I explained it was just tears of happiness. There was a little period of awkwardness for a few hours but by the next day they were calling me dad.”

Tony Quintana's ex-wife Maria Victoria Camuyrano was arrested at Dulles Airport upon arrival and appeared before Loudoun Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

According to the court she was charged with failure to appear and failure to comply with a custody order. She was fined and released. It wasn't immediately clear if she remains in the U.S.

Since the girls' arrival, Tony Quintana's mother Estrella has flown in to spend time with her grand-daughters. Three aunts are currently staying in the family's Lovettsville home and a number of therapists are involved in helping the children adapt to their new surroundings. They are also learning English, not their first language, at a rapid rate.

“At the moment they are having the time of their lives,” Quintana said. “They've had seven years of birthday gifts to open.”

On May 21, Tony Quintana took the girls on one of their first father-daughter shopping trips, buying them bikes.

“They’ve been after me to get them bikes. So that’s what we’re doing,” he said.


-Times-Mirror contributor John Flannery assisted with this story.

Comments


I am so confused and baffled as to why people turn their children against the other parent and keep them from them. It is sickening that Mr. Quintana had to spend 7 years and over a million dollars just to see his kids again. He was not an abuser and could obviously provide for the family, so this mother of their children had NO excuse to do this. His ex-wife should be ashamed and apologize to her family. I do believe that it would be a mistake to keep their mother from seeing her daughters, but she obviously is never to be trusted.  Sad all around. He is a smart man to get them into counseling. I wish them all much love, healing and happiness!

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