After calling the act the "ultimate in chutzpah," Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Stanford Blake granted bond to Fisher Island father Dan Rotta, who took his 16-year-old son to be married in Las Vegas on the way to court-ordered boarding school.
"I think he believes that he did what's best for his son," said Rotta's attorney, Neal Lewis, after the bond hearing Thursday morning.
Rotta was sentenced last week to a six-month jail sentence for contempt of court.
According to court records, the court ordered Rotta, a divorced father, to take his son, Peter, to Logan River Academy, a school for troubled teens in Utah.
The two took along on the trip the housekeeper's 18-year-old daughter on an airline itinerary with a stop in Las Vegas en route. As they boarded the plane, Rotta received word from the school that it would not accept Peter. His attorney believes the school did not want to be involved in a testy divorce case between Rotta and his ex-wife.
Once they landed in Las Vegas, Rotta signed the consent for the marriage license for Peter and the housekeeper's daughter. The marriage legally emancipated the 16-year-old.
"If that wasn't a way, in my opinion, of thumbing your nose at any order of the court, I don't know what is," said Blake, before granting $10,000 bond.
"Peter wants to be left alone right now," said his attorney, Sara Shulevitz. "He's a good kid, and he wants to be left alone."
As conditions of his bond, Rotta must surrender his passport and is allowed travel only to New York, where his other children live.
By the time his appeal of the charge runs its legal course, his six-month jail sentence will likely be over.
Rotta bonded out of jail just before 8p.m. Thursday night.
He said his son loves his housekeeper's daughter and their marriage is real.
"Absolutely," he said of the union.
Rotta contended the motivation behind helping his son marry in Las Vegas was not to emancipate the teen from his oversight.
"That wasn't the idea of his marriage," Rotta said, as he walked away from the jail to retrieve his belongings.