An A.M. Costa Rica reprint
Published  Friday, July 11, 2008, in Vol. 8, No. 137

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Contents copyrighted 2008 by Consultantes R╠o Colorado S.A. (c╚dula juridica 3-101-290-170).  Republication without permission is prohibited under U.S. and Costa Rican laws and international conventions.

Half-sister of abductee says aggression claims are untrue
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The older daughter of a U.S. citizen demonized by Costa Rica's women's minister and a La Naci█n columnist has come to his defense.

The daughter is  Brenda J. Cyprian, 28, of Fort Worth, Texas. She presented herself in an e-mail as an eyewitness to the three-year period when her father, Roger Cyprian, was supposed to be physically abusing Chere Lyn Tomayko. Instead, she said, the two had almost no contact.

Ms. Tomayko is about to be extradited to the United States to face a charge of parental child abduction.  As part of her defense, family members here and legal representatives have said she was a victim of abuse and that is why she fled Texas contrary to a joint custody order involving her daughter Alexandria. She was on the F.B.I.'s most wanted list.

The drumbeat of abuse was picked up by Jeannette Carrillo Madrigal, executive president of the Instituto Nacional de Mujer, and Julio Rodr╠guez, a columnist for La Naci█n.

Ms. Carrillo, in an opinion piece Sunday, characterized Cyprian as a violent aggressor and said the woman might be murdered if she were returned to the United States. Rodriquez said incorrectly Monday in his En Vela column that if Ms. Tomayko were extradited that she would be remanded to the claws of her aggressor. Instead, she will be in U.S. custody.

Neither writer spoke with Cyprian or appear to have acquainted themselves with the legal case in Texas. Ms. Carrillo, an Arias administration appointee, has not returned e-mails to a reporter. Rodr╠guez in his column said that Ms. Tomayko fled the United States from the claws of a man with a long history of aggression. Rodr╠guez said in an e-mail that the case was simply one of humanity over law.

The columns appear to be a last-ditch effort by Friends and family of Ms. Tomayko to frustrate her extradition. Some 10 months of court appeals have been unsuccessful.

Among other legal efforts, Ms. Tomayko tried at one time to obtain political refugee status in Costa Rica based on the aggression claim. She has been successful in winning the support of many other persons, mostly women, with her
claims of physical aggression. Some supporters were employees at the U.S. Embassy where officials did not move against her until her daughter turned 18.

The only problem with the aggression claim, according to  Brenda Cyprian, is that her father was nowhere near the woman for the three years before Ms. Tomayko fled with her young daughter to Costa Rica. That was in 1997. The couple severed their romantic relationship in 1994, Brenda Cyprian said.

In a lengthy e-mail, Brenda Cyprian said, in part:

"Ms. Tomayko has continuously claimed abuse and fear for her life.  There is no such evidence of this as being fact, other than Ms. Tomayko’s accusations.  I was present at the time, and I am saying these accusations are false. 

"This, however, is not the only point I would like to mention.  During the custody battle for Alex, all the court needed to grant Ms. Tomayko full custody was some sort of evidence.  A police report, pictures, testimonies from witnesses; any of these would have given Ms. Tomayko leverage to prove her case against my father, but none was delivered.  

"If Ms. Tomayko was in fact afraid for her life, why was there never any police reports filed?  If there was in fact abuse going on, why did Ms. Tomayko not take advantage of the U.S. justice system?  There are several procedures that protect victims of abuse:  restraining orders, protective orders, supervised visitations among others.  Why were none of these utilized to protect Ms. Tomayko, Chandler and Alexandria from the alleged 'abuse'?"

Chandler is an older child of Ms. Tomayko. Alex is more correctly  Alexandria Camille Cyprian, the woman who was the object of the 1997 joint custody order when she was 7.

Ms. Tomayko now has two younger children born here while she was a fugitive.

Brenda Cyprian characterized herself as a victim who has been robbed of the companionship of Alexandria. " I, too, lost a sister who I have cherished since she entered the world on July 14, 1989," she said.  "I lost someone who prior to her disappearance was shaping up to be one of the best friends I’ve ever had."