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Rev Robert Fuller

10 US Baptists charged with child kidnap


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    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Ten members of a U.S. missionary group who said they were trying to rescue 33 child victims of Haiti's devastating earthquake were charged with child kidnapping and criminal association on Thursday, their lawyer said.

    Edwin Coq said after a court hearing that a judge found sufficient evidence to charge the Americans, who were arrested Friday at Haiti's border with the Dominican Republic. Coq attended Thursday's hearing and represents the entire group in Haiti.

    Group leader Laura Silsby has said they were trying to take orphans and abandoned children to an orphanage in the neighboring Dominican Republic. She acknowledged they had not sought permission from Haitian officials, but said they just meant to help victims of the quake.

    The children taken from the group, ranging in age from 2 to 12, were being cared for at the Austrian-run SOS Children's Village in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday.

    The U.S. citizens, most of them members of an Idaho-based church group, were whisked away from the closed court hearing to jail in Port-au-Prince, the capital. Silsby waved and smiled faintly to reporters but declined to answer questions.

1 comment
  • Jeff Austin
    Jeff Austin From several different news sources it appears the majority, if not all the children were in fact not orphans nor abandoned. They were 'released' by their parents to get schooling, food, etc, with the understanding that they could return to visit. These...  more
    February 4, 2010