BURLINGTON, Vt., March 5 (UPI) — A federal judge in Vermont Monday sentenced a pastor to prison for helping kidnap a girl to keep her away from her mother’s former same-sex partner.
Kenneth Miller, pastor of the Beachy Amish-Mennonite church in Stuart’s Draft, Va., will not have to start serving his 27-month sentence until he appeals his conviction, The New York Times reported. His attorneys say Judge William K. Sessions III erred when he allowed the trial to proceed in Vermont while the kidnapping took place in Virginia.
Lisa A. Miller, who is not related to the pastor, and her daughter, Isabella Miller-Jenkins, are believed to be in Nicaragua.
The pastor was convicted of arranging for the mother and daughter to fly there in 2009 after a family court judge threatened to grant custody to Janet Jenkins, Lisa Miller’s former partner.
Miller had been jailed for contempt of court after he refused to testify against others involved in Lisa Miller’s flight.
“If I were to bring testimony against a fellow member of Christ’s kingdom, for honoring Christ’s kingdom’s laws, I would be disloyal to his kingdom and to Christ,” he said after his conviction.
Jenkins and Lisa Miller had contracted a civil partnership in Vermont and were both legal mothers to Isabella, who was 7 when she vanished in 2009. After their split, Lisa Miller moved to Virginia and became a conservative Christian.
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