Beachy Amish kidnapping assistance trial moves forwardBy Tim Huber Mennonite World Review
A judge has dismissed a motion by a Beachy Amish minister to throw out or move a trial regarding his alleged assistance in the international kidnapping of a young girl.
Kenneth L. Miller, of Stuarts Draft, Va., is accused of assisting Lisa Miller kidnap her daughter from the United States to Nicaragua by way of Canada after a lengthy custody dispute in which custody was granted to her ex-wife, Janet Jenkins.
The two Millers are not related.
Miller’s motion was in two parts. It questioned the illegality of Miller taking her daughter out of country, citing “Miller could not have aided and abetted an international kidnapping because it was completely legal for Lisa Miller to travel to Nicaragua with her daughter,” and “Jenkins had no parental rights over [the child] in Virginia, the state where [the child] lived for six years before Lisa Miller and [the child] traveled outside the United States.”
The motion also claimed the court should dismiss the case as an improper venue because Ken Miller did not physically enter Vermont at any time and because the site of his alleged crime was in Virginia.
Miller prefers Virginia over Vermont as a trial site, because Virginia does not recognize civil unions.
District Judge William K. Session III’s ruling means the trial will take place this summer or fall in U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vt.
After divorcing her husband, Lisa Miller entered into a civil union with Jenkins in Vermont in 2000. With the help of artificial insemination, Miller gave birth in Virginia to a daughter in 2002 and moved to Vermont that year.
In 2003, Miller filed to dissolve the civil union and returned to Virginia. In 2007 a Vermont family court granted parental rights to Miller and ordered visitation rights for Jenkins.
After Miller routinely failed to allow visits by Jenkins, a Vermont court ordered in November 2009 that Jenkins receive sole custody.
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