A Christian missionary charged with helping a woman take her 9-year-old daughter to Central America during a custody dispute with her former lesbian partner was allowed Monday to remain free on $25,000 bond.
Lisa Miller left her life as a lesbian and became a Christian several years ago. But the courts later granted custody of her biological daughter to her ex-lover, Janet Jenkins of Fair Haven, Vt. Not wanting her daughter exposed to the lesbian lifestyle, Lisa Miller refused to comply with the order and disappeared with the young girl.
Authorities discovered Miller has been hiding in Nicaragua. Federal prosecutors have charged Amish-Mennonite pastor Timothy David Miller, 34, with aiding in the removal of a child from the U.S. and retaining a child with intent to obstruct parental rights.
The FBI said the pastor helped arrange travel for Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella Miller Jenkins, two of the principals in a long-running child custody dispute.
An FBI affidavit says Timothy Miller - who is not believed to be related to Lisa Miller - helped arrange for the two to fly from Canada to Mexico and then on to Nicaragua, where he was associated with Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries. They were allegedly housed for some time at a beach house owned by a businessman with links to Liberty University, of Lynchburg, Va., the FBI said.
The pastor was arrested in Alexandria, Va., last week. He entered no plea Monday and was not required to under federal court rules. A probable cause hearing was set for May 10.
Meanwile, a federal arrest warrant has been issued for Lisa Miller, and her daughter is listed as missing by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.