The lawsuit, filed by Janet Jenkins, who was “married” to Lisa Miller in 2002 in Vermont before the two split in 2003, names twelve defendants and outlines numerous accusations. Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist Church, founded by the late Jerry Falwell, are named in the suit, along with Andrew Yoder of Christian Aid Ministries, Nicaraguan pastor Timothy Miller, Winchester, Virginia resident Douglas Wright and seven others.
Jenkins claims that several of the individuals named in the lawsuit assisted Miller with escaping to Nicaragua in 2009 in order to avoid having her daughter Isabella, now ten years old (pictured), have regular visitations with a lesbian. She alleges that in doing so, they violated the federal RICO Act, and were in league with the Amish-Mennonite Christian Brotherhood.
Jenkins also states that Matt Staver of Liberty Counsel, Miller’s attorney, and an associate at Liberty University’s School of Law “routinely instructed their Law School students that the correct course of action for a person in Lisa Miller’s situation would be to engage in ‘civil disobedience’ and defy court orders.”
“This is one of the most sloppy and irresponsible complaints I’ve ever read,” commented Staver.
Jenkins claims that Isabella has suffered emotionally from being kept from her and transported to Nicaragua, and that she is living “far below what even the poorest children in the United States experience.” She is seeking monetary damages for distress for both herself and Isabella, loss of business and coverage of legal fees.
As previously reported, Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller joined together in a civil union in 2000, and following an artificial insemination procedure, Miller gave birth to baby Isabella in 2002.
In 2003, Miller and Jenkins “divorced,” and Miller moved to Virginia. She renounced homosexuality and reportedly turned to Jesus Christ for salvation.
When the civil union was officially dissolved, the court gave custody to Miller, while also granting visitation rights to Jenkins.
While Miller did allow Isabella to spend time with Jenkins for awhile, she reportedly became very concerned at the information that her daughter was providing to her following the visitations. Later, Miller testified to the court that the visits were causing great trauma to Isabella. She claimed that at six years old, the girl was forced to take baths together with Jenkins, and that the girl was openly touching herself inappropriately. She also stated that Isabella was withdrawn and talked about suicide at times.
“Isabella came home and said, ‘Mommy, will you please tell Janet that I don’t have to take a bath anymore at her house,’” Miller told LifeSite News in 2008. “I asked her what happened. She said, ‘Janet took a bath with me.’ I asked her if she had a bathing suit on. ‘No, Mommy.’ She had no clothes on and it totally scared Isabella. She had never seen this woman except once in 2 ½ years and she takes a bath with her.”
“Last year, Isabella put a comb up to her neck and said she wanted to kill herself after one of the visits,” she outlined. “She took a comb and pressed it into her neck and said, ‘I want to kill myself.’ I don’t know where she got that. It was immediately after a visit. Other people have seen huge changes.”
Miller then filed for exclusive custody of Isabella, and the court agreed. However, Jenkins fought the ruling all the way up to the Virginia Supreme Court, which in 2008, ruled in favor of granting Miller’s former lesbian partner visitation rights. Miller refused.
The following year, family court judge Richard Cohen warned Miller that she must allow Isabella to visit Jenkins and threatened that if she did not do so, he would transfer full custody to Jenkins. In November 2009, Cohen followed through with his threats.
However, Miller had fled the country with Isabella before he issued the transfer order, and for some time, none knew the whereabouts of the two. Information later turned up that Miller and Isabella had taken refuge in Nicaragua.
“I did not divorce my child, I divorced my partner. Yet, I’ve missed out on my child’s kindergarten graduation. I’ll never get that back. I don’t even get to talk to my daughter on the phone. It’s heinous what has transpired,” Jenkins told Newsweek Magazine.
Last year, Mennonite pastor Ken Miller (no relation) was charged in aiding and abetting kidnapping by helping Miller flee the country with Isabella. At his trial this month, Miller’s lawyers argued that the pastor was not aware of the court orders.
However, on Tuesday of this week, a jury in Burlington, Vermont found Miller guilty of the charge. He faces up to three years in federal prison.
Jenkins attended Miller’s trial and filed the lawsuit the same day following his conviction.
Photo: Center for Missing and Exploited Children