A Mennonite missionary charged in a high-profile lesbian custody case pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a Vermont federal court.
Timothy David Miller, 34, is charged with helping Lisa Miller leave the country with her 9-year-old daughter Isabella. He was indicted on May 12. The suspect is not believed to be related to the woman.
Lisa Miller was involved in a custody dispute with her former lesbian partner Janet Jenkins. Miller, the girl's birth mother, had renounced homosexuality, became an evangelical Christian, and moved to Virginia.
She disappeared in September of 2009 along with the child after Vermont judge awarded custody of the child to Jenkins, who is the non-biological parent.
The pastor from Crossville, Tenn., is charged with aiding in the removal of a child from the U.S. with intent to obstruct lawful exercise of parental rights.
The FBI believes he helped arrange travel plans and a place to live outside the U.S. for Lisa Miller and the girl. The pair have been on the run since 2009 and were most recently known to be living in Nicaragua.
Timothy Miller is free on a $25,000 bond. If convicted, he could spend up to three years in prison. No trial date has been set.