New York couple planned to keep Amish children as slaves
Couple lured the two sisters into their car by saying they could pet their dog
A couple who admitted to kidnapping and sexually abusing two Amish children in the US said they intended to keep young sisters as slaves.
The couple from the US state of New York lured the two sisters from their family's market farm stand in the town of Fowler, with the intention of turning them into slaves, an investigator said on Thursday.
Nicola Vaisey, 25, admitted that she and her boyfriend Stephen Howells Jr., 39, lured the girls, aged 7 and 12-years-old, into their car by saying they could pet their dog.
Howells then pushed the sisters into the vehicle, St Lawrence County Sherriff's Sergeant Brooks Bigwarfe said.
Vaisey told Bigwarfe that she and Howells shackled the girls, but released the sisters 24 hours later after they became frightened by news reports.
The kidnapping sparked a massive search in the Amish family's remote farming community. Searchers scoured the community of about 4,000 people but were hampered by a lack of photos of the girls the Amish typically avoid modern technology.
Instead, the family had to work with an artist who spoke their language, a German dialect known as Pennsylvania Dutch, to produce a sketch of the older girl.
The parents, who have 14 children, did not express anger toward the suspects. The father said he feels sorry for the man and the woman. "It's sad," the 44-year-old said, "they must have ruined their whole life."
The girls' father said Thursday at his farm that they seemed to be doing well, and the family's farm stand was open again.
Fowler Justice Paul Lamson ruled on Thursday that there is reasonable cause to believe Vaisey committed felony kidnapping, and ordered she be held without bail.
District Attorney Mary Rain said the children were sexually abused by the “sexual predators.”
But Defense attorney Bradford Riendeau said Vaisey was Howells' slave.
“She was in a master-slave relationship,” Riendeau said. “I believe she's not as culpable as he is.”
Howells, who is also jailed, waived his right to a hearing.
Additional reporting by AP
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...