Pastor to Stand Trial on Federal Charges for Helping Ex-Lesbian Who Fled the Country with Daughter

A Mennonite pastor is scheduled to stand trial next month in a federal court in Vermont for helping an ex-lesbian who fled the country with her daughter to avoid transferring parental custody to her former partner.

Kenneth Miller is facing charges of aiding and abetting kidnapping following accusations that he assisted Lisa Miller (no relation) with traveling to Virginia to Buffalo, New York with her daughter in 2009, so that she could flee to Canada. 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. Kenneth Miller states that he helped the woman out of Biblical compassion.

The situation began in 2000, when Lisa Miller, then a homosexual, joined in a civil union with lesbian Janet Jenkins in the state of Vermont. Following an artificial insemination procedure, Miller gave birth to baby Isabella in 2002.

In 2003, Miller and Jenkins split, 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 She also stated that Isabella was withdrawn and talked about suicide at times.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.”

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“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.

While it is not known as to exactly how Ken Miller, a Mennonite, became involved with Lisa Miller, his website,, does outline some of the circumstances surrounding the situation.

“It was in very painful circumstances that Lisa came to the Anabaptists in Virginia for help, which as a follower of Jesus, Ken could not ignore,” the site states. “Ken supported Lisa’s desire to remove herself and Isabella from former relationships which were not in accord with Jesus’ standard. However, he felt only love and compassion for Lisa’s former partner and others involved.”

“In April of [2011], Timo Miller was arrested in connection with Lisa and Isabella’s disappearance. In October, all charges against Timo were dropped,” it states. “The story continues with a criminal complaint from the Federal Government now being brought against Ken Miller, an Anabaptist pastor from Virginia.”

After a criminal complaint was filed against Ken Miller in November 2011, he traveled to Vermont to self-surrender to authorities, and was released on $10,000 bond.

Although attorneys for Miller sought to have the case dismissed, the courts have denied the requests and have ordered the trial to move forward, pursuing charges against Miller for allegedly “aiding and abetting an international parental kidnapping in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1204 and 18 U.S.C. § 2.”

At a pre-trial conference in Burlington, Vermont yesterday, Judge William Sessions scheduled the official trial for August 7th. According to reports, prosecutors asked that Miller not be allowed to argue obedience to God’s law over man’s law during the trial. Miller’s attorneys stated that it would not be a part of their argument.

“Nothing can take my freedom away,” Ken said on his website, “because I have already surrendered it to Jesus of Nazareth.”

It is not known if Lisa Miller remains in Nicaragua at this time. It is reported that an individual from Canada has also been charged for allegedly assisting Miller to flee to Nicaragua.

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  • Samantha

    This story is sad. But I can’t help but wonder if she had asked for certain restraints be put on visitation and then legally pursued another course if it wouldn’t have turned out different then her just out right refusing what the judge ordered. As to Jenkins not having any connection with the child, the same argument could be raised with any couple who has adopted a child. They have no ties to the child, so why should either parent have a right to love the child after a divorce or separation. I abhor homosexuality so please don’t take anything wrong. As Christians we are supposed to uphold the laws to the best of our abilities. If this had happened in any other case where the man or woman was living in adulterous relationship, would people be as outraged? Sexual sin is sexual sin no matter how you try to classify it. I pray things can be resolved peacefully for this situation. However we do sometimes have to live with the consequences of the choices we made in our sinful state. May the people involved be prayerful about God’s will being done and bringing glory to His name.

    • Megan

      I think one of the main reasons why Isabella should be protected from Jenkins is not the fact that Jenkins is homosexual, but the fact that she was forcing Isabella to do things that were inappropriate. In a situation where a child is adopted and the parents divorce, or were living in adultery and split up, it would be the same as the father filing for custody so he could molest the child. Duh. Not appropriate and shouldn’t be allowed by any government. Just sayin’.

  • Michael R

    Direct quotation from God’s Law: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment upon themselves.” (Romans 13:1-2)

    Whether or not we agree with the homosexual lifestyle, Lisa Miller and Pastor Ken Miller (if the charges are true against them) cannot claim God’s law above human law, because they Bjorboth have been in rebellion against God’s Law as well. And before anyone tries to say those verses don’t apply in this situation, please ask yourself: (1) how strong is your position on this if you have to explain away an unequivocally-clear command of Scripture, and (2) do we not trust God enough to protect Isabella within the governmental structure that He Himself has established?

    • J.R. Neumiller

      “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.”

      When human law transgresses God’s law, it is up to each individual to make a choice whom to follow. The Nazi’s said they were following government orders, same as every other apparatchik who uses that line to deflect responsibility. “I was just obeying orders.”

      Whether it be right IN THE SIGHT OF GOD to hearken unto man more than unto God, JUDGE YE. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. (Read: We will be disobeying you.)

  • Ruth Yoder

    What is happening with Jenkins for child abuse? This is a crime even in today’s godless world of government. The mother reported to the court the sexual abuse. It is unconscionable that they would grant a child perpetrator visitation rights, while others are sitting in prison today for the same crime.

  • Simon Kinsinger

    Not that it matters but I dont see one comment supporting the Justice Department.I have been following this story from the point that it originated even before I knew Ken Miller was involved.If the defense lawyer cannot get an aquittal he will definitely appeal.Other than appeasing the law I do not see where the justice department has a leg to stand on in this flawed double standard case.Im sorry this happened but,on the other hand if this wakes up all the sleeping christians in this country this can be a good thing!I absolutely agree with most of the comments,this case should be laughed right out of court! Had this happened in Babylon everyone who had a hand in bringing this case to court right up to Attorney General Eric Holder and President in question OBAMA would have been thrown into the LIONS DEN!

  • Laban Eichorn

    My heart goes out to The Ken Miller family as well as to Lisa Miller and her daughter . Rest assured that God almighty sees and knows it all , and as we [ thousands ] of christians around the world unite in prayer for them , the heart of God will be touched , and His name will be glorified . God is still on the throne .

  • Norma

    Ken said it all when he said, “Nothing can take my freedom away, because I have already surrendered it to Jesus of Nazareth.” The Bible says we ought to obey God rather than man. Regrdless of the outcome Ken is “FREE”!!!! Makes us thankful our kingdom is not of this world. A few years ago we had the honor of having a meal with Timo and Joanna Miller in Waslala Nicaragua. A beautiful young family who sacrificed much to serve God in a remote area of Nicaragua. What he and Ken did to help this woman and her child should be r4ewarded instead of what is happening. What sad depths America has fallen!

    • simon kinsinger


  • Elizabeth N

    @Samantha, Ms Miller DID complain to the courts about what was happening on the visits and testified the child’s behavior was regressing. That is why the first 2 courts upheld her being the Mother. It is a sad world that doesn’t think biological blood is important. The movement in many states to open adoption records are because research shows humans need to know their medical history and connect with their biological relatives. It is not something easily explained. I fully agree with what Mr Miller did and I know his family stands in support behind him. I believe if he is given any jail time; he will use it for God’s Glory! May his faith continue to be strong and be a testimony to others.

  • Deborah B.

    Unbelievable but we will hear more of this with legalizing gay marriage. What did everyone expect? We hear these same stories with heterosexual couples too! Either way, it’s disgusting and wrong based on the behavior of the gay partner and the deterioration of the child. The biological Mother should have full custody and gay partner should have none, period!

  • Draw B.

    One of the major premises in our understanding of this case is that the homosexual lifestyle and practice is an abomination to God. Some or many in the government are trying to act without that understanding. They even consent with or have pleasure in the abominable practices. Do their laws supersede God’s declaration? I trust not.
    This point in the downward spiral of morals in America did not start here. What does God declare about adultery, etc? If men do not believe Him, He will move them down the spiral.
    Let us pray and fast for the authorities in this case and for our neighbors one by one. If the salt has lost its savor…?

  • Pascal

    “Prosecutors asked that Miller not be allowed to argue obedience to God’s law over man’s law during the trial.” Of course! What is obvious to both sides is that this is not so much a battle over custody and abduction as it is a battle between two competing worldviews–one which recognizes a transcendent moral law and another which views ethics as being the collective product of individual preferences.

  • George

    It is clear that the ‘rights’ of the lesbian former-partner are being allowed to take president over the well-being of the child….