MANILA - (UPDATE) A local court found businessman Cedric Lee guilty of kidnapping his daughter with actress-singer Vina Morales, documents obtained by ABS-CBN News on Monday showed.
Mandaluyong City's Regional Trial Court, which said Lee was "guilty beyond reasonable doubt," ordered him to pay a fine of P300 and moral and nominal damages amounting to P50,000.
"The action of the accused in not immediately returning the custody of minor Ceana was premeditated, intentional and malicious, as he adamantly refused to return the custody of minor Ceana to the private complainant, through her sister, when he is legally obligated to do so," the court said in its decision penned by Presiding Judge Anthony Fama.
Morales in 2016 lodged the case against her former boyfriend, whom she alleged violated a court ruling that allowed him visitation rights to their daughter, Ceana, every Saturday.
She said Lee detained Ceana from May 13 to 22 and that her daughter experienced "slight behavioral changes" after the incident.
Lee has denied Morales's allegations, which he called "lies," and has since filed libel charges against Morales. He maintained that he did nothing wrong in keeping Ceana for 9 days, considering that Morales had owed him 10 days with their daughter.
Last year, the two libel charges that Lee filed were dismissed.