Virginia Pastor Sentenced for Aiding Parental Kidnapping
A Virginia pastor who said that his actions “flow out of my faith in Jesus,” was sentenced Monday to 27 months in prison for abetting the international parental kidnapping of a girl in a high-profile case involving a same-sex union and the condemnation of homosexuality by conservative Christians.
But in a victory for the pastor, Kenneth L. Miller, Judge William K. Sessions III of Federal District Court in Vermont said he did not have to start serving his sentence until higher courts decided on a planned appeal, which could take at least two years, according to Brooks G. McArthur, one of Mr. Miller’s lawyers.
Mr. Miller’s lawyers have argued that Vermont, where an original custody battle over the girl was fought, was an improper venue for an alleged crime that took place in Virginia and elsewhere. While Judge Sessions had previously ruled that the case could be tried in Vermont, his ruling on Monday appeared to acknowledge that federal court rulings had been contradictory and that Mr. Miller’s appeal had a chance of success.