A Virginia man who federal prosecutors say helped a woman leave the country with her daughter so she wouldn't have to turn custody of the girl over to her former lesbian partner surrendered Tuesday to face charges he aided in international parental kidnapping.
A complaint unsealed Tuesday said Kenneth L. Miller, 46, of Stuarts Draft, Va., arranged passage for Lisa Miller to travel to Canada before flying with her daughter in September 2009 to Nicaragua, where she was sheltered for a time by a group of Mennonite missionaries. Kenneth Miller appeared in U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vt., on Tuesday and was released, said U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin, who would provide no further information about the case.
The affidavit made public Tuesday indicated that Timothy Miller had helped provide the information that led to the charges against Kenneth Miller. The affidavit says Timothy Miller arranged passage for Lisa Miller and her daughter, paying for the tickets with his mother-in-law's credit card, but Kenneth Miller had told him he would be reimbursed for the price of the tickets.
So, it wasn't Lisa he was willing to rat on, but his alleged co-conspirator (and fellow Beachy minister). This man is much better prepared for the court battle he faces than was Timo, who was blindsided by the FBI. And the FBI isn't crowing about the arrest this time:
UPDATE: As in the case of Timo, there is a website set up for those interested in following Ken Miller's case: www.millercase.org. The big difference is that this site is merely a policy statement and not a source of updates [UPDATE: this has since changed, as the site has grown and developed].
Ken Miller, however, is an entirely case altogether. The man had already left the country when all this went down, thus has been out of reach of the FBI. Clearly, he returned to the U.S. knowing that he would be arrested once he reached American soil. He is not trying to run from what he did, but is quite willing to take whatever punishment is dished out, should he be found a criminal for what he did out of conscience. But since all of the activities in which the court is interested took place in Virginia, he will insist on being tried there. There is no validity to their claim that he did anything in the "Federal District of Vermont."
Should the Feds admit that Virginia is the place where the deeds were done, expect quite a few more arrests to follow. So far, they've only been biting at the very bottom of the food chain, and there are quite a few people in the chain between Lisa and Ken.
UPDATE Feb 2013:
I believe that the Feds still have a case against the Baptists who handed off Lisa and Isabella to the Mennonites. In an interesting coincidence, Tip Killingsworth, one of the Baptist suspects, has also gone to Ireland as a missionary in the interim. By choosing to spend the next year--at least--behind bars rather than testify against his Baptist co-conspirators, Ken has complicated the prosecution's case a little. We're still waiting for the other shoe to drop.