Burlington, Vermont — A Mennonite pastor that was convicted of providing assistance to an ex-lesbian who fled the country with her daughter is set to be sentenced tomorrow in federal court.
Ken Miller of Stuarts Draft, Virginia will appear before Burlington Judge William Sessions at 2:30 p.m. Monday as he faces up to three years in prison for his involvement in the matter.
As previously reported, Miller was convicted last August for helping Lisa Miller (no relation) and her young daughter Isabella travel to Buffalo, New York, where they crossed the border into Canada and then escaped to Nicaragua. Miller, who turned to Christ in 2003, had been threatened by family court judge Richard Cohen that if Miller did not allow her daughter to have visitations with her former lesbian partner, Janet Jenkins, he would transfer full custody to Jenkins. In addition to not wanting her child to be raised in the homosexual lifestyle, Miller believed that her daughter was being traumatized from alleged activities taking place between her partner and her daughter.
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. It was also found that Pastor Kenneth Miller had a part helping Miller flee the country.
“I’ve already surrendered my freedom to Christ, and if this is the path he chooses for me, I will walk it,” Miller told reporters following his conviction. “I am willing to accept the consequences.”
“I am at peace with God,” he added. “I am at peace with my conscience. I give it over to God.”
Miller has already been incarcerated over the past month for refusing to testify in the case of another man that is also facing charges for his participation in the matter. Miller told Judge Sessions that his religious beliefs prohibited him from taking the stand in the case, and while Sessions understood, he ordered that Miller be put behind bars until he is ready to talk.
Miller’s attorney, David Bercot of Amberson, Pennsylvania, reports that he has been in good spirits while in prison.
“Ken has been doing well,” he wrote in an online post approximately two weeks ago. “We hear that a guard quieted his enthusiastic singing in the shower. The same guard later awarded him with some extra telephone time. He’s been reading about 40 chapters of Scripture a day. He’s been receiving a lot of correspondence, which is wonderful. At mealtimes, he was asking the blessing for his own food. The inmates at his table asked him to begin saying grace for the whole table. His wife and a few children were up to visit him on the weekend, and found him well.”
He invites all to attend Miller’s sentencing as a show of support for the pastor, and to also send letters to Miller in the Vermont State Prison.
“Even though you will probably not get an opportunity to talk to Ken, he will certainly be encouraged and strengthened by your presence,” Bercot said.