CHILD STEALING - ELEMENTS
No person may be convicted of child stealing unless the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the crime. These elements are:
Second, taking/enticing away;
Third, a child under the age of sixteen;
[Fourth, with the intent to detain or conceal the child;
Fifth, from the parent, guardian or other person having the lawful charge of the child.]
[Fourth, with the intent to transport the child outside of Oklahoma/(the United States);
Fifth, without the consent of the person having lawful charge of the child.]
Statutory Authority: 21 O.S. 2011, § 891.
Oklahoma appellate cases involving the crime of child stealing include Shinn v. State, 1925 OK CR 442, 239 P. 269, 31 Okl. Cr. 366 , which reversed a conviction for lack of evidence and Wilkins v. State, 1999 OK CR 27, 985 P.2d 184, which upheld the statute against constitutional attacks of vagueness and overbreadth.
This crime generally involves a fact situation concerning a dispute over custody of a child between divorced parents, or between parents and grandparents. The crimes of kidnapping under either sections 741 or 745(A) are probably not committed in these situations because the parent or grandparent does not possess the specific intent required by those sections. Moreover, the crime of child stealing is much broader in its protection of parental or other legal custodial authority than is the crime of abduction. See generally R. Perkins, Criminal Law 181-82 (2d ed. 1969).