Thursday, September 29, 2016

Right Wing Christian Convicted in Isabella Miller-Jenkins Kidnapping

Kidnapping conspirator, Philip Zodhiates, a "godly Christian"
From time to time I have posted about the continuing saga of the Isabella Miller-Jenkins kidnapping in the wake of her mothers' split.  My interest in the story is three-fold (four fold if one considers the Virginia ties).  First, the custody struggle was one of the first time the always reactionary Virginia Supreme Court ruled for a LGBT petitioner. Second, the case highlights the bogus "pray away the gay" scams operated by "Christian ministries" out to fleece the desperate and/or gullible.  Lastly, it demonstrates the manner in which Christian extremists view themselves as above the civil laws.  Adding to the intrigue is the role that Liberty University and Matt Staver, head of the hysterically anti-gay Liberty Counsel, seem to have played in aiding and abetting lawbreakers.  ABC News has details on the criminal conviction of one of the co-conspirators in the kidnapping of Isabella Miller-Jenkins.  Here are highlights:
A federal jury in Buffalo returned the verdict against Philip Zodhiates, of Waynesboro, on Thursday after hearing during a week long trial how he had driven Lisa Miller and 7-year-old Isabella Miller-Jenkins from Virginia to the Canadian border in 2009 so they could fly from Toronto to Nicaragua, and had helped with their living arrangements in the Central American nation.
Neither Miller nor Isabella, now 14, have been seen in the United States since.
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.
Miller, who gave birth to Isabella during the civil union, defied court orders granting Jenkins visitation and left the country shortly before a court shifted custody to Jenkins, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Van de Graaf said.
Miller also is charged with international parental kidnapping and conspiracy and is considered a fugitive.
A third defendant, Timothy Miller, recently was arrested after being deported by Nicaragua, U.S. Attorney William Hochul's office said Thursday.
A fourth defendant, Kenneth Miller, a Mennonite pastor, was convicted of international parental kidnapping in Vermont in 2012.
None of the Millers are related.  Kenneth Miller, of Stuarts Draft, Virginia, is serving a 27-month prison sentence.
 Zodhiates faces up to eight years in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 30.
In my view, it is unfortunate that criminal charges were not brought against Matt Staver, a thoroughly vie individual and modern day Pharisee, in my opinion. 

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