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Christian Father Faces Jail for Taking Daughter to Church

Web site launched to raise money to pay for his defense.

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Joseph Reyes Daughter to Chuch
 WBBM, Channel 2 (CBS) in Chicago captures Joseph Reyes taking his daughter to church. (courtesy:

PR NewsChannel) / February 1, 2010 / Chicago, Ill. / Joseph Reyes knew he could be accused of defying a court order barring him from taking his daughter to church. But he did it anyway and now he is facing contempt of court charges and jail.

The 35 year old, holding his 3 year old in his arms, walked into Holy Name Cathedral on January 17. A news crew videotaped the act of defiance.

"I have been ordered by a judge not to expose my daughter to anything non-Judaism," Reyes told a news reporter. "But I am taking her to hear the teachings of perhaps the most prominent Jewish Rabbi in the history of this great planet of ours. I can't think of anything more Jewish than that."

The prominent Jewish Rabbi that Reyes referenced was Jesus Christ.

Just before Christmas, a judge issued a temporary restraining order specifically barring Reyes from exposing his daughter to any religion other than Judaism after Reyes had his daughter Baptized without the knowledge of his estranged Jewish wife.

Now the lawyer representing Rebecca Reyes (formerly Rebecca Shapiro) has filed a Motion for Criminal Contempt, asking that Joseph Reyes face criminal charges for defying the judge's order.

The hearing date is set for February 16 and Reyes has launched a new Web site to raise money for his defense. 

He hopes that he will receive contributions from sympathetic fathers and other individuals who find it unconscionable that a judge would tread into the area that seems to violate the constitutional right guaranteeing Freedom of Religion.

"My daughter is half Jewish," says Reyes. "Just because my marriage is ending should not mean that I can't go to church to worship with my daughter.

"I'm a Christian, and I was Christian when Rebecca and I got married.  No judge should have the right to force me to attend a synagogue to be able to pray with my daughter and no judge should have the right to stop me from going to church with my daughter."

His attorney, Joel Brodsky, says they will fight.

"My client should be allowed to take his daughter to church," says Brodsky, who happens to be Jewish. "In every way this is wrong. Freedom of religion is absolute and no judge should be able to interfere with that freedom."

Reyes is asking for the public's help to pay for his defense. 

"I am a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and I am currently working my way through law school.  I need the help in order to defend myself against my wife and her family, who want to put me in jail for taking my daughter to church." 

Adding to Reyes' disgust at the situation, is the fact that the money being used to prosecute him for taking his daughter to church comes from his father-in-law's work for Playboy. Howard Shapiro, is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the company.

"How Howard Shapiro can make his living from pornography and then object to me taking my daughter to church is beyond my understanding." 

Donations can be made to

To download the Petition for Criminal Contempt:  
To download the Order Setting Arraignment:

Add'l Circuit Court of Illinois Supporting Documents:
Appellate Petition:
Response Brief:
Supporting Record:

Joseph Reyes and Joel Brodsky are available for interviews.

Media Contacts:
Glenn Selig
PR Firm: The Publicity Agency
Phone: (813) 708-1220 x7777 or cell: (813) 300-5454

Web site:

Justin Herndon
PR Firm: The Publicity Agency
Phone: (813) 708-1220 x7778 or cell: (813) 528-6815

Web site:



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