A woman whose parental rights were terminated pleaded not guilty to stalking Wednesday after she was arrested late Tuesday on Butler Court in Waterville where police found her walking along a dark trail toward the home where her children live with their grandmother.

BethMarie Retamozzo, 40, of Skowhegan, was taken to Kennebec County jail in Augusta where she was held without bail until she could see a judge, according to Waterville Deputy police Chief Bill Bonney.

On Wednesday, Retamozzo was arraigned in Uniform Criminal Court in Augusta via video from the jail where she pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor stalking, according to Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.

Maloney said in a phone interview just before 4 p.m. Wednesday that bail was set at $250 for Retamozzo, and she is to have no contact with the victims in the case. The judge was Paul Mathews.

Retamozzo has been fighting since May 2011 for custody of her two children, whose guardianship she voluntarily gave to her mother in 2009 when Retamozzo went into the military.

When Retamozzo was 34 and living in Fairfield August 15, 2013, she fled from High Street, Waterville, with her children during a supervised visit. She did not have custody of two of her children, ages 6 and 7 at the time, but did have custody of her 2-year-old. Retamozzo and the two older children were found sleeping at an Interstate 95 rest stop in South Carolina three days after leaving Waterville.

On May 23, 2014, she was arrested for violating her bail conditions by visiting the children at a church function the day before Easter.

Retamozzo was sentenced in February 2015 to two and a half years in jail, with all but five months suspended and two years’ probation. A jury had found her guilty of two charges of criminal restraint by a parent for taking her children from her mother, the children’s legal guardian.

Maloney said at the time that the probate court had previously determined Retamozzo was a danger to her children, and the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Frayla Schoenfeld, said Retamozzo had written in a diary years ago about thoughts of killing herself and her children.

Retamozzo’s mother had been raising the children for most of their lives after Retamozzo gave her guardianship with the intent of going into the military. A probate court judge in June 2013 continued that guardianship, but permitted Retamozzo to visit with the children if the visits were supervised by people approved by the court. That ruling was confirmed in a written order about a week before the children were reported missing in 2013 when Retamozzo took the children out of state.

Bonney said Wednesday that over a period of time, Retamozzo has continued, repeatedly, to try to contact her children, and police officers have been dealing with that. He said officers Tuesday night were near the children’s home — police were working on another issue in that area — and they saw Retamozzo drive to the area, turn off her headlights, get out of the vehicle and walk down a dark trail toward the home wearing a headlamp.

Based on several events that have occurred with Retamozzo’s previous attempts to contact the children, the officers charged her with stalking, a Class D misdemeanor punishable by a $2,000 fine and up to 364 days in jail, according to Bonney. He said she was arrested without incident.

“We have dealt with her before and it just doesn’t seem like she’s willing to let this go, and obviously we’re concerned for the safety of her children,” Bonney said. “We want to make sure we do everything we can to make everybody safe.”

A call placed to Retamozzo’s cellphone late Wednesday afternoon was not immediately returned.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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