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Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Kevin Esterly Kevin Esterly
FILE PHOTOSAmy Yu FILE PHOTOSAmy Yu

Kevin Esterly given maximum sentence for fleeing with teen

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 by SUSAN BRYANT sbryant@tnonline.com in Police Log

Kevin Esterly of Lowhill Township has been sentenced to serve 2-1/2 to 5 years in prison for fleeing to Mexico with Allentown teen Amy Yu, 16.

Esterly, 45, who pleaded guilty Nov. 11 to one count of corruption of a minor, was given the maximum sentence allowed by Judge Maria Dantos on Dec. 10.

Esterly said he went to Mexico with Yu because she was unhappy at home and he wanted to protect her.

Both have denied any intimate relationship.

Yu; her mother, Mui T. Luu; and Esterly’s wife, Stacey; testified at Monday’s sentencing hearing.

Yu ran away on March 5 with Esterly.

Between Nov. 13, 2017, and Feb. 9 Esterly allegedly signed Yu out of school 10 times, which Luu never gave him permission to do.

The two families met through Esterly’s children at church.

On March 5, Luu reported her daughter as a runaway and said she was last seen at 7:09 a.m. that same day in the area of N. 15th and W. Allen Sts., Allentown.

Yu and Esterly were returned to the United States via Miami, Fla., by Homeland Security Investigations agents and deputies with the U.S. Marshals Service.

They were found March 17 by agents from Homeland Security Investigations, Policia Federal Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit and the United States Marshals Service in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Esterly was taken into custody by Mexican authorities.

Yu was returned home by Allentown police around 4 a.m. March 18.

“Amy refused to come in the house and was taken by police to St. Luke’s Hospital,” Luu said at the time. “She is very unsettled. She was taken Sunday night to KidsPeace after spending the day at St. Luke’s.”

Yu was later transferred to a Franklin County Youth Center from which she escaped, only to be located later in Johnstown.