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Syracuse, NY - Judge Imposes Lifetime Prison Terms In High Profile Amish Kidnapping Case

Published on: December 17, 2015 08:08 PM
By: AP
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FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2014, file photo, deputies from the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department escort Nicole Vaisey, left, and Stephen Howells, to their arraignment on first-degree kidnapping charges at Fowler Town Court in Fowler, N.Y. The couple who kidnapped two Amish girls from a farmstand in northern New York and sexually exploited them and other children face sentencing in federal court on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. (Melanie Kimbler-Lago/The Watertown Daily Times via AP, File)  FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2014, file photo, deputies from the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department escort Nicole Vaisey, left, and Stephen Howells, to their arraignment on first-degree kidnapping charges at Fowler Town Court in Fowler, N.Y. The couple who kidnapped two Amish girls from a farmstand in northern New York and sexually exploited them and other children face sentencing in federal court on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. (Melanie Kimbler-Lago/The Watertown Daily Times via AP, File) 

Syracuse, NY - A man and a woman who kidnapped and sexually abused two Amish girls in northern New York last year were sentenced Thursday to lifetime federal prison terms.

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Nicole Vaisey and her boyfriend, Stephen Howells, admitted in state and federal courts that they kidnapped the two girls and sexually exploited six children altogether. Victims were drugged and recorded during sex acts, authorities said.

Judge Glenn Suddaby sentenced both to the maximum possible terms, which prosecutors recommended — 580 years for Howells on 21 charges and 300 years for Vaisey on 10 counts.

Howells, 40, told the judge that he took advantage of the inexperienced Vaisey and “twisted her around” for his own sexual gratification, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported. “The evil that I’ve done is my own,” he said.

Prosecutors say the abuse ended after the couple were arrested in the kidnapping of the two young Amish girls from a farm stand in August 2014. The girls were released a day later.

Suddaby gave the couple no credit for the release, accepting prosecutors’ theory they would have kept the girls as sex slaves if a soundproof cell in their home had been completed. He rejected Vaisey’s claim that she was under Howells’ control as a sex slave.

“You are the threat that parents worry about every day,” Suddaby told Howells, who used his job as a registered nurse to get the drugs used to subdue the victims. “You are the nightmare that never goes away for children.”

Suddaby recommended sex offender treatment in prison for both.

Defense attorneys asked for shorter sentences that would have resulted in their clients’ eventual release and noted both had been sexually abused in their pasts.

Public defender Randi Bianco said Howells’ federal sentence should be reduced to 30 years.

In a sentencing memo, attorney Bradford Riendeau asked, “At age 65 after years of imprisonment, will Nicole Vaisey still be a risk to the community?”

They still face sentencing on state kidnapping charges.



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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 17, 2015 at 08:30 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

Why did this trial take so long?

2

 Dec 17, 2015 at 09:38 PM yaakov doe Says:

I like the prison suits.

3

 Dec 18, 2015 at 12:30 AM lazerx Says:

how disgusting these two are. How America has sunk into depravity.

4

 Dec 18, 2015 at 08:40 AM qazxc Says:

Too bad our own kidnapper in the name of religion didn't get the same treatment.

5

 Dec 18, 2015 at 09:14 AM LionofZion Says:

Reply to #3  
lazerx Says:

how disgusting these two are. How America has sunk into depravity.

#3, I am sorry, in what way has America sunk? America sought these people, to be them, arrested them, and is putting them away forever so they cannot hurt anyone else.
On the other hand, in "our" community, we would have denied that anything happened, defended whichever pillar in the community who did such a thing and then we would push for a short stay in s comfortable facility with daily minyanim and glatt kosher food.
So who exactly has sunk here?

6

 Dec 19, 2015 at 10:38 PM fashedenagrintzin Says:

Sorry to say but #3 has a good point

7

 Dec 20, 2015 at 05:53 AM fashedenagrintzin Says:

Reply to #5  
LionofZion Says:

#3, I am sorry, in what way has America sunk? America sought these people, to be them, arrested them, and is putting them away forever so they cannot hurt anyone else.
On the other hand, in "our" community, we would have denied that anything happened, defended whichever pillar in the community who did such a thing and then we would push for a short stay in s comfortable facility with daily minyanim and glatt kosher food.
So who exactly has sunk here?

I meant that it is a good point to make that if this happened to our community, many would rally behind the perpetrators with letters of support.

8

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