News

Palo Altan released from jail in Nepal

Paly graduate Wolf Price returns to U.S.

A Palo Alto man who says he was wrongly imprisoned in Nepal has been released and returned to the Bay Area this weekend.

Wolf Price, a Palo Alto High School graduate who started the Beyond the Four Walls Endowment Fund to change the status and fortunes of girls and women in the impoverished country, posted messages online about his return.

"As of today I'm free from jail and already on the way to USA via Qatar," he wrote Aug. 31 on a GoFundMe page his mother created to raise money for his release, including to pay for legal fees. "I can't explain how thankful and humbled I am by all the support through this fund. Without you I really could have been years in jail because having a top quality lawyer was key to get justice."

The family raised close to $20,000 through the GoFundMe campaign.

Price called the five months and eight days he spent in jail "the biggest challenge of my life."

Price was arrested shortly after recording an altercation between a 15-year-old boy and the teen's sister, said his mother, Mary Bartnikowski, in a previous interview, but the arrest may also be due to controversial photographs of Price that had surfaced. According to Nepalese news reports, Price had posed in wedding garb with the erotic actress Archana Paneru in what she later admitted was a sham marriage she had arranged to allegedly garner publicity.

He was held in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, without being charged for any crime.

Price wrote on Facebook that an "extensive investigation" was conducted into his case and he was released after a judgment was issued last week.

On Sunday, he posted a photo of the sun setting over the wing of an airplane at San Francisco Airport with the caption, "Officially home."

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Comments

27 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2018 at 4:38 pm

Lesson here: don’t travel to other countries thinking you have the same rights that you have here in the USA.


6 people like this
Posted by Jim
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 3, 2018 at 5:00 pm

Very naive young pup. Hope he takes this as a lesson to grow up!


15 people like this
Posted by curious
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 3, 2018 at 5:04 pm

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 3, 2018 at 6:08 pm

I am pleased he is home, hopefully older and wiser.

This story should be a lesson for all young people and probably some older ones also. Yes, foreign countries are indeed foreign and things that are the norm there would be illegal here. Some of these may be reprehensible to us here and we may like to see them changed, but there are ways to do this that make sense and ways that do not make sense. An impetuous young man, granted with his heart in the right place, is not likely to make any difference to foreign regimes, by going solo to set the world to rights. If any young person wants to help then there are many organizations that will train and prepare young people to do this in an organized manner with the support of the organization behind them. Even then, sometimes things can go wrong.

A couple of years abroad, a gap year, Peace Corp, or similar is definitely to be admired as a means of gaining maturity and independence. But do it right should be the motto.


15 people like this
Posted by Meghan
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 3, 2018 at 6:15 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Mary Bartnikowski
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 15, 2018 at 2:46 pm

I'm Wolf's mother and after reading the story and comments, I see that people don't understand that he lived in Nepal for 12 years, he was not traveling there.
He saved people's lives, raised money and grants donated from American Apparel, Motorola, GoPro, Speck, Morgan Stanley, private investors, and many other companies to give college scholarships to Nepali girls and build housing for people in the jungle who weren't being helped by the government.
We were all naive, all of us who have done humanitarian work in Nepal, and many of my friends who continue to do so.
The situation is dangerous in Nepal as people who are doing aid work are not protected by the US Embassy or any of the Embassies that are currently there. Be forewarned.
What happened is that stories were fabricated about Wolf, an ordained monk who has helped hundreds of people in Nepal, and in Nepal you are guilty until proven innocent. The prisons in Nepal are filled with innocent people, and many of them have no money or anyone fighting for their freedom.
It was heartbreaking to see this man who worked so hard to give opportunities to Nepali people be treated in such a horrible way.
I'm happy he is now in California and working to help people here, praise Jesus we got him home!


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