It all started with Lisa A. Miller and her domestic partner, Janet Jenkins, split up. The two shared a daughter; Isabella Miller-Jenkins. A period of time after the split in 2003, Miller declared herself a born-again Christian (I guess she wasn’t born right the first time), denounced homosexuality, and began trying to interfere with visitation and strip Janet Jenkins of her parental rights with Isabella.
Lisa Miller even went so far as to move to Virginia (having previously resided in Vermont). In 2009, when a judge in Vermont began to get frustrated and threatened to transfer custody of the girl, she took her daughter and disappeared.
She enlisted the aid of an Amish-Mennonite pastor by the name of Kenneth L. Miller (no relation to Ms. Miller), of Stuarts Draft, Virginia. His sect believes homosexuality is a sin. With that in mind, he helped her take her daughter and flee to Nicaragua, where Miller obtained shelter from Amish missionaries in the area.
His attorney tried to claim that while he did indeed help her flee, he did not know it was in direct violation of a court order and thus constituted kidnapping. The New York Times gives the following evidence in contradiction, however,
The prosecutors cited abundant evidence that Mr. Miller tried to hide what Ms. Miller was doing – he specified that their flights should not touch down on American soil and gave the pair traditional Mennonite garb to wear as a disguise, for example. His case was also undermined by the reluctant testimony of a fellow Amish-Mennonite pastor in Canada, who said he had refused to transport Ms. Miller and Isabella across the United States-Canada border because he feared they could be breaking the law.
The pastor faces up to three years in prison, and although he is free until sentencing, he did have his passport taken away. The charge was abetting international kidnapping.
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