She says she broke international law to save her children from abuse. But now it appears Tina Zahlen will lose them.
Wednesday a Clermont County Judge denied an appeal, essentially granting Tina's husband, Guy, custody of their three children. His lawyer says Guy will come to Ohio from Luxembourg Monday to take his kids.
Tina, an American citizen and native of Ohio, met Guy while she was studying abroad. They married and started a family in a small Luxembourg town. After several years of marriage, Tina says Guy became jealous and verbally abusive. Guy denies those claims. But Tina says when his anger turned physical soon after, she took the kids and left him.
Tina remained in Luxembourg for weeks, but says when Guy continued to threaten and stalk her, she felt like she had no other option but come home. When she did, she broke international law.
For two years now, she has been fighting her husband for custody of the children. The judge's decision Wednesday all but assures she will be saying goodbye to her children in just a few days.
"It's going to be the worst thing that can ever happen," Tina says. "To have your babies taken away, especially if you're afraid they're not going to be safe."