A Virginia man who allegedly helped a woman escape the U.S. with her daughter in order to avoid giving custody of the girl to her former female partner surrendered to law enforcement Oct. 6, as first reported by the Associated Press. Kenneth Miller now faces charges of aiding in an international parent kidnapping.
According to the complaint against him, Miller, a Mennonite minister from Stuarts Draft, Va., contacted fellow Mennonite ministers in Canada and Nicaragua to help Lisa Miller (no relation) escape to Nicaragua with her daughter, Isabella, where she was supposedly sheltered by Mennonite missionaries.
Kenneth Miller has since been released as he awaits trial, U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin told the AP. If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison.
Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins entered into a Vermont civil union in 2000. Two years later, Miller underwent artificial insemination and gave birth to Isabella. In 2003, Miller and Jenkins split. Miller then renounced her homosexuality, moved to Virginia and converted to Christianity, setting off an ongoing custody battle.
In her court battles with Miller, Jenkins has been represented by her lawyer, Sarah Star, as well as by the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the ACLU of Virginia and Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.
Greg Nevins, an attorney with Lambda Legal, says Lisa Miller’s current location is unknown. He adds that even if Miller is found, it could be difficult to have her extradited to the United States with Isabella, but that should they return Jenkins will be awarded custody.
”We’re waiting for the ultimate result we’re hoping for, which is reuniting Isabella with Janet,” says Nevins. ”The result’s been decided. The only question is when it will be.”