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Ken Miller going to jail for refusing to testify!

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  • rlbaty50
    Not unexpected! http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130124/NEWS02/301240025/Pastor-held-refusing-testify-Vermont-child-custody-case Pastor held for
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 24, 2013
      Not unexpected!

      http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130124/NEWS02/301240025/Pastor-held-refusing-testify-Vermont-child-custody-case

      Pastor held for refusing to testify in Vermont child custody case

      January 24, 2013 11:13 AM MT

      A federal judge has ordered a Virginia pastor jailed for at least one week after he refused to testify before a federal grand jury Thursday investigating the kidnapping of a young girl by her mother.

      In August, the Rev. Kenneth Miller was convicted in U.S. District Court in Burlington for helping the woman flee the country with her child rather than share custody with her former partner in a Vermont civil union. The whereabouts of the woman and the daughter remain unknown.

      Federal Judge William K. Sessions III agreed to hold another hearing in a week to determine if Miller has a change of heart and wishes to be cleared of the contempt of court finding.

      Miller, who is due for sentencing in early March, went behind closed doors Thursday morning for a grand jury proceeding on the second floor of the federal courthouse on Elmwood Avenue.

      Miller later appeared in a fifth floor courtroom to publicly explain why he was refusing to answer questions posed by federal prosecutors.

      During a 25-minute hearing, Sessions heard Miller say that he believed his religious beliefs exceeded the rights of government and therefore he was unwilling to answer certain questions before the grand jury.

      Burlington lawyer David Williams, who with Brooks McArthur is representing Miller, argued in court that jailing Miller would do nothing to reverse his silence.

      Miller, a Mennonite pastor, had seven supporters including his wife in court today. His wife, Linda Miller, said afterward that she was not surprised by the outcome of the hearing but supports her husband.

      As the hearing ended and federal marshals prepared to take him into custody, Miller said, "God bless you, your honor."

      Court personnel initially put cardboard over the windows in the fifth floor courtroom and when a reporter attempted to enter, a security guard "You're not going in there until a judge says so."

      The Burlington Free Press subsequently petitioned the court to be heard and reporters were initially allowed in. Sessions however said it would conduct a two-step hearing: first he wanted to hear what happened before the grand jury; and second, if needed, he would hear arguments on possible action.

      After a short closed-door briefing for Sessions, the court re-opened for the public to hear the legal arguments.

      ------------------------
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    • rlbaty50
      Another story with additional details:
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 24, 2013
        Another story with additional details:

        http://www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/2013/01/24/pastor-won-testify-same-sex-custody-dispute/mZiuBB3jBU4PRz6D7nHzuL/story.html

        Pastor won't testify in same-sex custody dispute

        By WILSON RING
        Associated Press
        January 24, 2013

        BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A Virginia pastor convicted of helping a woman and her daughter involved in a custody dispute with the woman's former lesbian partner was taken into federal custody Thursday after refusing to answer questions about others involved in the flight posed by grand jury investigating the custody case.

        Before surrendering his belt and wallet and being handcuffed by court officers, Kenneth Miller, of Stuarts Draft, Va., apologized to U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions for burdening the court, but he said his religious beliefs prevented him from complying with the court's order that he testify about others involved in the 2009 flight of Lisa Miller and her daughter. The Millers are not related.

        > ``I am willing to submit myself to whatever''

        the court decides, the 47-year-old Miller said Thursday during a court hearing called after he refused to answer questions from the grand jury sitting at the federal courthouse in Burlington.

        Sessions was reluctant to order Miller held, and he gave him several chances to change his mind.

        > ``We can't function as a criminal justice
        > system without the grand jury,''

        Sessions said.

        > ``I appreciate your faithfulness to your
        > religion and your moral beliefs and perhaps
        > there is an inherent conflict here.''

        One of Kenneth Miller's lawyers said he didn't believe incarcerating Miller would induce him to agree to testify, but Sessions said there was no way to find out unless Miller spent time in jail.

        Sessions scheduled another hearing in a week to see if Miller would change his mind.

        After Miller was taken into custody, his wife Linda, in court along with a handful of other supporters, said she wasn't surprised by the court's action.

        > ``He will always be my husband,''

        she said.

        > ``Until death do us part.''

        Miller was convicted last summer by a jury of helping Lisa Miller and her daughter, Isabella, travel from Virginia to Nicaragua via Canada in September 2009 so Lisa Miller would not have to comply with court orders that she allow her former partner, Janet Jenkins, of Fair Haven, to visit with her the girl. Two months after they disappeared, a Vermont family court judge transferred custody of the girl to Jenkins.

        Lisa Miller and Isabella are believed to be in Nicaragua.

        Jenkins and Lisa Miller were joined in a Vermont civil union in 2000 and Isabella was born to Lisa in 2002. The couple split in 2003. The Vermont family court gave custody of Isabella to Lisa Miller, but gave Jenkins regular visitation.

        Lisa Miller then returned to Virginia, became a conservative Christian, renounced homosexuality and sought full custody of the girl. The legal case played out for years, until they disappeared.

        Kenneth Miller is facing up to three years in prison on his conviction. Sentencing is scheduled for March 4.

        Miller had fought efforts to compel him to testify, but earlier this month the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected arguments that he was being forced to testify against himself because he had been granted immunity from prosecution for anything he told the grand jury.

        Before Sessions ordered that Miller be held, the two engaged in an unusual philosophical debate between the bench and the defense table.

        Miller said he couldn't testify because it would implicate others who helped Lisa Miller and her daughter flee who were also motivated by God's law, which they feel trumps civil law.

        Sessions countered that his job is to uphold the sanctity of the legal system and it is a citizen's duty to comply with orders to testify about their knowledge of crimes.

        One of Miller's attorneys, David Bercot, an Anabaptist lawyer from Amberson, Pa., said after the hearing that Miller answered some of the questions from the grand jury, but he wouldn't talk about others involved in getting Lisa Miller and Isabella out of the country because of their shared beliefs.

        > ``These people they wanted him to testify
        > against are fellow citizens of God's kingdom,''

        Bercot said.

        > ``And it's like, you wanted me to be a rat,
        > you know, to turn on my fellow citizens.
        > That's basically what it came down to.''

        Bercot said Miller made the decision years ago to suffer the legal consequences to keep Lisa Miller and Isabella apart from Jenkins.

        > ``He is acting on what Lisa Miller told
        > him are the facts of the case,''

        Bercot said.

        > ``It's all based on that, it's not just,
        >
        >> `oh, someone's a homosexual we
        >> are going to take their child
        >> from them.'
        >
        > That is not what we would believe.''

        --------------------------------------------
        --------------------------------------------
      • rlbaty50
        The Huffington Post reported it this way: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/kenneth-miller-jailed-mennonite-pastor-lesbian-custody-case_n_2545762.html
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 24, 2013
          The Huffington Post reported it this way:

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/kenneth-miller-jailed-mennonite-pastor-lesbian-custody-case_n_2545762.html

          Kenneth Miller, Mennonite Pastor, Jailed
          For Refusing To Testify In 'Lesbian' Custody Case

          The Huffington Post
          By Meredith Bennett-Smith
          Posted: 01/24/2013 7:26 pm EST

          A pastor at the center of a dramatic and acrimonious custody and kidnapping case has been jailed for refusing to testify in court.

          Kenneth Miller, a 47-year-old Mennonite pastor, told U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions on Thursday that he could not answer questions from a grand jury regarding the flight of Lisa Miller and her daughter to Nicaragua to avoid a custody transfer, reports the Associated Press. Lisa Miller (who is not related to Kenneth Miller) took the child overseas in 2009 so she would not have to comply with a court order allowing her former lesbian partner, Janet Jenkins, to see their daughter, reports NBC News.

          In August, Kenneth Miller was convicted of helping the mother flee the country. His sentencing begins in March, and he faces a maximum jail time of three years.

          The pastor apologized to the court on Thursday and said his "religious beliefs" prevented him from testifying, according to the AP. Miller said that he, and possibly others who may or may not have helped Lisa Miller violate the custody order, were motivated by their conviction in "God's Law," the AP reports.

          The reluctant judge replied that while he appreciated the pastor's "faithfulness to your religion and your moral beliefs," the criminal justice system could not function without the grand jury, according to the AP.

          The Beachy Amish Mennonites, the Protestant splinter sect that Kenneth Miller belongs to, believes that same-sex marriage is a sin. The group has about 13,000 members worldwide.

          The root of the custody dispute and ensuing kidnapping dates back to 2002, when Lisa Miller gave birth to daughter Isabella. At the time, she was still together with her partner Janet, reports NBC News; but the couple was divorced two years later. Some time after that, Miller became a born-again Christian, renounced homosexuality and stopped allowing Jenkins to see Isabella.

          The battle between Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins, as well as the trial of Kenneth Miller has snowballed into a widely publicized debate that pits religious conservatives against LGBT advocates. In August, conservative firebrand Bryan Fischer, who has grabbed headlines in the past for inflammatory comments about Newtown and the LGBT community, said Lisa Miller had a responsibility "to obey God rather than man" and kidnap her daughter, reports Right Wing Watch.

          Jenkins has also filed a civil suit in which she alleges that Miller, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and the Lynchburg-based Thomas Road Baptist Church all conspired to help conceal the whereabouts of her daughter. The suit is asking for unspecified monetary damages.

          --------------------------------
          --------------------------------
        • bucksburg
          I really had to laugh at the mention of Beachy Amish as a Protestant splinter sect. Thomas Road Baptist Church may list more members than the entire Beachy
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 25, 2013
            I really had to laugh at the mention of Beachy Amish as "a Protestant splinter sect." Thomas Road Baptist Church may list more members than the entire Beachy Amish Mennonite Brotherhood, but numbers can be deceiving. Beachy Amish don't count any of their underage constituents, who typically number three--fourths or more of all attendants. Baptists, on the other hand, typically count anyone who has been baptized, whether they still attend regularly or not.

            I wouldn't characterize either the BAMB or TRBC as Protestant to begin with. And in Mennonite terms, 13,000 members is mainstream, not splinter. Definitely good for a laugh.

            Anyway, all that to say that in speaking recently with someone familiar with the situation, I found out that there are two competing cell phone companies in Nicaragua, so the country is pretty well covered now, meaning that land lines and even radio networks are effectively obsolete. Interpol sent an interception team up into the mountains to monitor the phone traffic of interested persons, but were so blatantly overt about it that it was a no-brainer that anyone with knowledge of Lisa's whereabouts wouldn't ever discuss it over the phone, especially now that they know there are well-paid Pennsylvania Dutch linguists standing by on the other end.

            Daniel B.

            --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "rlbaty50" wrote:
            >
            > The Huffington Post reported it this way:
            >
            > http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/kenneth-miller-jailed-mennonite-pastor-lesbian-custody-case_n_2545762.html
            >
            >The Beachy Amish Mennonites, the Protestant splinter sect that Kenneth Miller belongs to, believes that same-sex marriage is a sin. The group has about 13,000 members worldwide.

            > The battle between Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins, as well as the trial of Kenneth Miller has snowballed into a widely publicized debate that pits religious conservatives against LGBT advocates. In August, conservative firebrand Bryan Fischer, who has grabbed headlines in the past for inflammatory comments about Newtown and the LGBT community, said Lisa Miller had a responsibility "to obey God rather than man" and kidnap her daughter, reports Right Wing Watch.
            >
            > Jenkins has also filed a civil suit in which she alleges that Miller, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and the Lynchburg-based Thomas Road Baptist Church all conspired to help conceal the whereabouts of her daughter. The suit is asking for unspecified monetary damages.
            >
          • rlbaty50
            ... Thanks for that bit of information. Sounds like you are a lot closer to the action, or at least accounts of the action, than I ever was or ever will be. I
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 25, 2013
              --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
              "bucksburg" wrote, in part:

              > Anyway, all that to say that in speaking recently
              > with someone familiar with the situation, I found
              > out that there are two competing cell phone companies
              > in Nicaragua, so the country is pretty well covered
              > now, meaning that land lines and even radio networks
              > are effectively obsolete.
              >
              > Interpol sent an interception team up into the
              > mountains to monitor the phone traffic of interested
              > persons, but were so blatantly overt about it that
              > it was a no-brainer that anyone with knowledge of
              > Lisa's whereabouts wouldn't ever discuss it over the
              > phone, especially now that they know there are well-paid
              > Pennsylvania Dutch linguists standing by on the other end.

              Thanks for that bit of information. Sounds like you are a lot closer to the action, or at least accounts of the action, than I ever was or ever will be.

              I might guess that the Interpol action, assuming the report is correct, was for evidence gathering more than simply trying to locate Lisa Miller and the kid.

              I got the impression that those in the know already are keeping tabs on the location of Lisa Miller and the kid.

              One fundamental problem, as I understand it, is that there is a lack of an extradition treaty between the U.S. and Nicaraugua regarding such things.

              Feel free to bring me up to date and correct any misimpressions I might have about the status of things.

              Sincerely,
              Robert Baty
            • bucksburg
              Yes, I m acquainted with some of the interested persons in the investigation. While the topic of Lisa s current situation never comes up, I have been in on
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 28, 2013
                Yes, I'm acquainted with some of the interested persons in the investigation. While the topic of Lisa's current situation never comes up, I have been in on discussion(s) as to a) how the FBI & Co really blundered the arrest of Lisa herself (by arresting Timothy first, they alerted her to the fact that she was wanted and she went underground just hours before the SWAT team arrived at her home in Chinnotega) and b)what a pain it is to live under constant surveillance, with all your phonecons and emails being monitored, and your erstwhile acquaintances being approached to become confidential informers against you--and never knowing when you land at an American airport whether you will leave in a private vehicle or a paddy wagon.

                In my own opinion, there's no way the FBI would know where Lisa was and not have already had her arrested. First of all, without a permanent residence permit, Lisa can't stay legally in Nicaragua for more than 3 months. So she's either overstayed her visa--and is thus subject to arrest and imprisonment in Nicaragua--or she's crossed the border into a country that does have an extradition treaty with the US.

                Secondly, Nicaragua is clearly working with the FBI on this case. They've gone up into the mountains and flashed around a lot of money looking for anyone willing to serve as a confidential informer. There would be no reason to do this if they knew her whereabouts.

                Thirdly, the whole push behind this constellation of legal cases has been to "reunite IMJ with her mother." Keeping Lisa and her daughter under surveillance does nothing to further that end; Rendering them back the USA would.

                Daniel B.

                --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "rlbaty50" wrote:

                > Thanks for that bit of information. Sounds like you are a lot closer to the action, or at least accounts of the action, than I ever was or ever will be.
                >
                > I might guess that the Interpol action, assuming the report is correct, was for evidence gathering more than simply trying to locate Lisa Miller and the kid.
                >
                > I got the impression that those in the know already are keeping tabs on the location of Lisa Miller and the kid.
                >
                > One fundamental problem, as I understand it, is that there is a lack of an extradition treaty between the U.S. and Nicaraugua regarding such things.
                >
                > Feel free to bring me up to date and correct any misimpressions I might have about the status of things.
                >
                > Sincerely,
                > Robert Baty
                >
              • rlbaty50
                ... I don t think that is likely to happen, and even less likely as the case goes on and Izzy gets older; though Izzy may wish to have some kind of
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 28, 2013
                  --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
                  "bucksburg" wrote, in part:

                  > Thirdly, the whole push behind this constellation
                  > of legal cases has been to "reunite IMJ with her
                  > mother." Keeping Lisa and her daughter under
                  > surveillance does nothing to further that end;
                  > Rendering them back the USA would.

                  I don't think that is likely to happen, and even less likely as the case goes on and Izzy gets older; though Izzy may wish to have some kind of relationship with her other parent, Janet Jenkins, at some point in the future.

                  I'm thinking that if Lisa ever returns to the U.S. to face the music, with Izzy in tow, it will be determined that Izzy has been completely turned against Janet and that development will add to the millions in damages that Janet will be looking for, at least as to getting a judgment and making one or more of the points her side wants to make regarding same-sex marriages and the ramifications thereof.

                  You never know, though. I would be interesting indeed if Izzy turned out to turn on Lisa and the Mennonites and Baptists and embraced her other parent.

                  Sincerely,
                  Robert Baty
                • bucksburg
                  ... Not just additional details, but actually, this time, an accurate reporting of what was said and done. Wilson ring did err a teeny bit in referring to
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jan 28, 2013
                    --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "rlbaty50" wrote:
                    >
                    > Another story with additional details:
                    >
                    > http://www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/2013/01/24/pastor-won-testify-same-sex-custody-dispute/mZiuBB3jBU4PRz6D7nHzuL/story.html


                    Not just additional details, but actually, this time, an accurate reporting of what was said and done.

                    Wilson ring did err a teeny bit in referring to Kenneth Miller as a "Virginia Pastor." He's not a pastor in the main sense the word is used by Virginians, certainly not in Virginia at least. He did have a pastoral position in Ireland, but gave it up to 'face the music' in Vermont for deeds done in Virgina, MD, PA, and NY.

                    Daniel B.
                  • bucksburg
                    ... It s interesting that you referred to Janet Jenkins as Isabella s other parent. I m looking at the latest edition of SS-5, the Application for a Social
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 6, 2013
                      --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "rlbaty50" wrote:
                      >>Izzy may wish to have some kind of relationship with her other parent, Janet Jenkins, at some point in the future.<<

                      It's interesting that you referred to Janet Jenkins as Isabella's "other parent." I'm looking at the latest edition of SS-5, the Application for a Social Security Card, effective 08-2011. Lines 9 and 10 require information on the applicant's parents: there are spaces for only two of them.

                      The first parent, listed on line 9, is referred to as "Parent/Mother." The second parent, listed on line 10, is referred to as "Parent/Father.

                      Now, the question arises as to whom would be listed on Isabella's SS-5. The instructions for lines 9 & 10 read:

                      9.B., 10.B. If you are applying for an original Social Security card for a child under age 18, you MUST show the parents' Social Security numbers unless the parent was never assigned a Social Security number. If the number is not known and you cannot obtain it, check the "unknown" box.

                      Now, we know from Lisa Miller's testimony that Janet Jenkins was not listed on Isabella's birth certificate. Therefore, in addition to Lisa Miller being listed as "Parent/Mother," the only other possibilities are that the "Parent/Father" field was either checked as "Unknown" or filled in with a Sperm Donor ID number.

                      The SS-5 instructions allow it to be signed by one of the two parents, or by a legal guardian. Since there have been no Adoption Decrees issued in the case in Isabella Miller-Jenkins, this leaves me with the inescapable conclusion that, at least from the Social Security Administration's perspective, Janet Jenkins is the legal guardian of Isabella--not one of her two parents.

                      Daniel B.
                    • rlbaty50
                      ... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/30900 ... I don t know about the Social Security administration, but I think it is settled law that
                      Message 10 of 10 , Feb 6, 2013
                        --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
                        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/30900
                        "bucksburg" wrote, in part:

                        > It's interesting that you (Robert Baty) referred
                        > to Janet Jenkins as Isabella's "other parent."
                        >
                        > ...
                        >
                        > ...this leaves me with the inescapable conclusion
                        > that, at least from the Social Security Administration's
                        > perspective, Janet Jenkins is the legal guardian of I
                        > sabella--not one of her two parents.

                        I don't know about the Social Security administration, but I think it is settled "law" that Janet Jenkins is the "other parent".

                        Thanks for noticing my reference regarding the relationship between Izzy and Janet. I've used it and such references repeatedly and was wondering if anyone noticed.

                        Lisa and her supporters, as I recall, do not refer to Janet in such terms.

                        Sincerely,
                        Robert Baty
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