A Mennonite businessman was found guilty of international parental kidnapping for his part in helping a former lesbian flee the United States with her daughter rather than face a custody battle with her former partner.
Philip Zodhiates of Waynesboro, Virginia, was found guilty last Thursday by a grand jury in Buffalo, New York, for conspiracy in helping Lisa Miller leave the country with her daughter to avoid losing custody.
“Lawyers for Zodhiates, the owner of a direct mail business that serves conservative Christian groups, denied that he was trying to obstruct the other mother’s parental rights by helping Miller, who became an evangelical Christian after dissolving her civil union with Janet Jenkins in Vermont,” reported The Associated Press.
“Zodhiates, the prosecutor said, enlisted the help of a number of Mennonites in the United States and Nicaragua in arranging Miller’s trip and a place to stay. Miller is also charged with international parental kidnapping and conspiracy and is considered a fugitive.”
Mennonite Pastor Kenneth Miller, who is not related to Lisa Miller, was already found guilty in 2012 for international parental kidnapping in Vermont.
In March 2013, Kenneth Miller was sentenced to 27 months for his involvement in the incident, but a judge decided to release the clergyman pending an appeal of the decision.
On the website Miller Case, a message attributed to Kenneth Miller was posted in March 2013 that explained the pastor felt that Lisa Miller was a pious individual whom he was trying to help.
“It was obvious to me that Lisa Miller was a woman of great faith. Her appearance and demeanor demonstrated that she was at peace with God and at peace with herself,” said Kenneth Miller.
SOURCE: The Christian Post – Michael Gryboski