DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

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DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by mom_in_il on Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:43 pm

Search for Missing Amish Girls Complicated by Cultural Barriers

Aug 14, 2014, 4:37 PM ET
By ALYSSA NEWCOMB

In the search for two missing Amish girls, authorities in upstate New York face barriers unlike any other they have encountered before, including the fact that they don't have photographs of the two girls.

The family of Delila Miller, 6, and Fannie Miller, 12, agreed to work with a sketch artist on an image of the elder child, providing a vital tool to investigators because Amish religious beliefs preclude taking photographs.

Cops: 'Numerous Leads' in Search for 2 Amish Girls

"It's a belief within the Amish community, so we did really well to get this sketch," St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said.

He added that it was the family's decision to not have an artist's rendering of their younger girl.

Another barrier has been that the family speaks mainly Pennsylvania Dutch, the traditional language of the Amish, authorities said. The girls have heavy accents though the 12-year-old speaks English, Wells told the local ABC affiliate.

The girls went to wait on a customer at the family's roadside stand Wednesday night in Oswegatchie, a rural town located near the Canadian border. Police said a witness saw a vehicle put something in the backseat. When the car drove away, the witness told police the children were gone.

Wells said it was "a very short period of time" between when the family realized the girls were missing and when authorities were notified.

He said police were alerted from a call made at an English-speaking residence that owns a telephone. Amish families do not have modern conveniences such as telephones, let alone cell phones.

Both girls were last seen wearing dark blue dresses with blue aprons and black bonnets, authorities said.

Despite the cultural differences, Wells said the community has been rallying together to help search for the missing girls.

"This is something that's against what we all believe in," he said.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/search-missing-amish-girls-complicated-cultural-barriers/story?id=24985109


Last edited by mom_in_il on Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by twinkletoes on Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:00 am

Police Search For 2 NY Amish Girls Feared Abducted

   | By GEORGE M. WALSH


Posted:  08/14/2014 8:47 am EDT    Updated:  52 minutes ago


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Searchers scoured a patch of far northern New York on Thursday for two Amish girls who were apparently abducted from their family's roadside farm stand, a hunt hampered by the lack of photos of the girls for authorities to circulate among a frightened community.

The sisters, 7-year-old Delila Miller and 12-year-old Fannie Miller, vanished around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after a white car pulled up to the farm stand near Oswegatchie, a community of about 4,000 on the Canadian border 150 miles northwest of Albany.

Both were wearing dark blue dresses with blue aprons and black bonnets. Because the Amish tend to shun modern technology, police have no photographs of the girls. But St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said the family has agreed to the release of a sketch of the older child. He also noted that English isn't the girls' first language and that anyone who talks with them may notice a Pennsylvania Dutch dialect.

Divers plumbed the nearby St. Lawrence River to rule out the possibility the girls were in the water, Wells said at an afternoon news briefing. Helicopters and search teams on foot tried to make sure they weren't near the family home, and investigators were talking with nearby registered sex offenders.

"We will aggressively pursue this case as a worst-case scenario," Wells said. Authorities are pursuing "numerous leads," he said.

The girls are among the youngest of Mose and Barb Miller's 13 children, who range in age from 1 to 21 years, neighbor Dot Simmons said.

The girls routinely took on the chore of selling the fruits, vegetables, jams and other products of the farm, Simmons said. On Wednesday, the entire family had gone to the barn as usual for evening milking.

But, Simmons said, "The girls were always on watch if someone stopped to buy vegetables."

When the family noticed the girls hadn't returned, they quickly checked the cornfield, she said, knowing it was unlikely they would have wandered off. That's when police were notified, and an Amber Alert was sent out.

"We were down there last night. I cooked a casserole, cake, stuff like that, and took it down to them," Simmons said. "I talked to the mother and consoled her."

St. Lawrence County is home to New York's second-largest Amish population, which has grown in the past decade because of productive land and property prices lower than in Pennsylvania. The Amish are helping law enforcement get the word out the old-fashioned way — by word of mouth.

"You'd be surprised how quick word spreads," Wells said.

The Rev. Rusty Bissell, of Cornerstone Wesleyan Church in nearby Heuvelton, invited the community to a prayer service Thursday evening. He described a small, tight-knit community where even small children walk to school. That, he said, has changed overnight.

"There are no kids outside anywhere today," Bissell said. "There are no kids on bikes, and that's unusual."


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/police-search-2-amish-girls_n_5677959.html
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Re: DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by ladibug on Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:27 am

Yes 2 missing Amish girls found alive in St. Lawrence County

08/13/2014 11:11 PM08/14/2014 10:09 PM


Oswegatchie (WSYR-TV) - Two Amish girls who had been missing in the North Country since Wednesday evening have been found.

State Police confirmed that the girls have been found alive. The Amber Alert that had been issued following their disappearance has been cancelled.

No other information was immediately available.... (cont.)

http://www.localsyr.com/story/d/story/amber-alert-2-amish-girls-abducted-according-to-st/29461/NPlINtJKQUaZs9NpKDgXtw


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Re: DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by ladibug on Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:37 am

HEUVELTON — Two girls apparently abducted from their home were found Thursday evening in a home in Richville as a large crowd was gathered at a church in their hometown for a candlelight vigil.
St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary E. Rain said the two the two girls were dropped off by a vehicle in Richville, walked to a nearby residence, knocked on a door and asked to be reunited with their family.
Ms. Rain said the girls were cold and wet, but they have not sought medical treatment. She said the girls were meeting with St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department investigators as well as members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
It had been nearly 24 hours since the two Amish girls went missing Wednesday evening from their family’s roadside vegetable stand in the town of Oswegatchie, increasing the concern for their wellbeing, when Sheriff Wells had sent a message for anyone responsible for their disappearance.
“We need the children brought back safely. Make a phone call,” Mr. Wells said. “You need to leave the children somewhere safe where we can find them and understand that there are parents and friends and siblings just like there would be for anyone else wish for their safe return.”

Mr. Wells said there was no previous reports of the small, white, four-door sedan, surveilling the state Highway 812 and the Mt. Alone Road area around the home of 12-year-old Fannie Miller and her 6-year-old sister, Delila. A vehicle fitting that description is alleged to have taken the girls away from their family at about 7:20 p.m. Wednesday.

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20140814/OGD/140819330
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Re: DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by mom_in_il on Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:52 pm

Prosecutor: Amish girls found safe spoke to police

Aug 15th 2014 11:30AM
By GEORGE M. WALSH


This undated artist rendering provided by the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office in Canton, N.Y. via the Watertown Daily Times shows 12-year-old Fannie Miller. Miller and her six-year-old sister, Delila, vanished from a roadside vegetable stand near their home in Oswegatchie, N.Y. after a white car pulled up to the farm stand on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 around 7:30 p.m. The Amish sisters were dressed in dark blue dresses with blue aprons and black bonnets. (AP Photo/St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A prosecutor in northern New York says two young Amish girls found safe a day after they disappeared from their family's farm stand have given investigators information she hopes will soon lead to an arrest.

St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain says Friday she can't comment on what happened to 7-year-old Delila Miller and 12-year-old Fannie Miller, who vanished Wednesday evening after a car pulled up to their family's farm stand in Oswegatchie.

She said she doesn't want to compromise any future prosecution by releasing details.

The girls turned up unharmed Thursday evening at a house in Richville, near the Canadian border. That's about 15 miles from where they disappeared. They asked for help getting home.

Rain says the girls are healthy.

She also says the episode has left the peaceful rural community feeling vulnerable.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information.

http://www.aol.com/article/2014/08/14/Prosecutor-amish-girls-found-safe-spoke-to-police/20947004/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl14%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D515714
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Re: DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by twinkletoes on Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:52 am

Upstate Couple Arrested In Amish Girls’ Kidnapping

August 15, 2014 11:07 PM





39-year-old Stephen Howells II, 39, and Nicole Vaisey, 25, both of Hermon, were each charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping.


ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A northern New York couple was arrested Friday in the kidnapping of two Amish sisters from their family’s roadside farm stand.

St. Lawrence County’s District Attorney Mary Rain said 39-year-old Stephen Howells II, 39, and Nicole Vaisey, 25, both of Hermon, were each charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping.

She said they were in custody awaiting arraignment Friday night and additional charges are possible. Both will have lawyers, but no pleas will be taken or bail granted, the prosecutor said.

Rain declined to discuss a motive for the abduction. She said information provided by the girls helped lead to Howells and Vaisey.

“The suspects agreed to go to the sheriff’s office to be interviewed earlier today and they were arrested after those interviews,” Rain said.

The sisters vanished Wednesday evening in Oswegatchie, touching off a massive search in the farming community near the Canadian border.

They turned up safe Thursday night at the door of a house 15 miles from their home.

Authorities had been tight-lipped about details, including what happened to 7-year-old Delila Miller and 12-year-old Fannie Miller while they were missing. And Rain said Friday she would not release more details before a news conference with the county sheriff Saturday morning.

Searchers had scoured the farming community of about 4,000 people, in a hunt hampered by a lack of photos of the girls for authorities to circulate. The Amish typically avoid modern technology, and the family had to work with an artist who spoke their language, a German dialect known as Pennsylvania Dutch, to produce a sketch of the older girl.

The girls are among the youngest of Mose and Barb Miller’s 13 children, who range in age from 1 to 21 years, said neighbor Dot Simmons. The girls routinely took on the chore of selling the fruits, vegetables, jams and other products of the farm and had left the rest of their family during evening milking when they saw the car at the stand.

The episode left a sense of vulnerability in a community where residents said even small children often walk unaccompanied to school.

“One thing that comes from this is that people learn this can happen in a small town,” the prosecutor said. “I think the public will take precautions, and that’s the sad thing.”

Patricia Ritchie, the state senator representing the region, said many are now reluctant to let their children play outdoors unattended.

Ritchie said the Amish are responding in a way that may forever change a familiar feature of the local landscape: Some are taking down their roadside stands.

“This has sent a shockwave through their community,” she said.


http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/08/15/upstate-couple-arrested-in-amish-girls-kidnapping/
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Re: DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by twinkletoes on Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:41 am

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Re: DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by twinkletoes on Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:48 am

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Re: DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by twinkletoes on Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:51 am

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Re: DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by ladibug on Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:23 am

Sunday: Kidnap Suspects Were In 'Master-Slave' Relationship

Story Published: Aug 17, 2014 at 9:38 AM EDT
Story Updated: Aug 17, 2014 at 9:37 PM EDT
The two suspects in last week's kidnapping of two Amish girls were in a 'master-slave' relationship, the lawyer for one of the suspects confirmed for 7 News Sunday.
Brad Riendeau of Watertown said Nicole Vaisey was in an abusive and submissive relationship with Stephen Howells II.
She did not take the lead in the kidnapping and was "under his control for a long period of time," Riendeau said.
Riendeau's comments, first reported  in the New York Times, explain why Riendeau filed for an "order of protection" on Vaisey's behalf against Howells Friday night, when the pair was arrested.
"You've heard of '50 Shades of Grey?'" he said Sunday. "This (referring to the relationship the pair had) was the 51st 'Shade of Grey.'"

Riendeau said Howells set up a camera to record things he did with Vaisey. He also said the home contained various items associated with sado-masochistic sex, including handcuffs and canes.
The St. Lawrence County Conflict Defender's office represented Howells at Friday night's arraignment, but a lawyer with the office declined to comment to the newspaper.
Howells and Vaisey were charged late Friday night with first degree kidnapping, accused of kidnapping the two girls, ages 12 and 7. The girls were taken from a vegetable stand in front of the family home near Heuvelton, but then released near Richville Thursday night.
Officials said Howells and Vaisey intended to physically harm and violate the children, and Saturday night, St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain said the girls were sexually abused.
Reindeau said Sunday he knew nothing about whether his client was present when the sexual abuse allegedly took place, or whether Howells made any recordings.
Riendeau said Vaisey graduated from Colton-Pierrepont school, grew up in Madrid, and has a college degree from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Asked if Vaisey was voluntarily in the relationship with Howells, Riendeau said "That's a complicated question." He described her as a young woman in need of affection.

Riendeau said Howells has three children, but those children were not at the county route 21 home at the time the kidnapping was going on. He said they were dropped off at their mother's house before the alleged crime Wednesday.

http://www.wwnytv.com/news/local/Report-Kidnap-Suspects-Were-In-Master-Slave-Relatonship-271580901.html

The kidnappers sure look different on their mug shots. Haven't yet found a picture to copy as they are all videos.
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Re: DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by mom_in_il on Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:43 pm



Stephen Howells II, 39, is shown in this St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office photo released on August 16, 2014. Howells and Nicole Vaisey, 25, were taken into custody in connection with the kidnapping of two young Amish sisters from their family farm stand near New York's border with Canada, the county district attorney said on Friday. REUTERS/St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office/Handout

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/08/17/abducted-amish-girls-were-sexually-abused-by-captors---new-york-times
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Re: DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by ladibug on Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:43 am

sad hug mom-in you're a dear! When I saw the original published pictures my first thought was "surely it must be a mistake" - how wrong! These photos are terrifying; those poor little girls.
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Re: DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by mom_in_il on Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:16 pm

Life easing back to normal in NY Amish community

Updated: 2:29 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, 2014
Posted: 2:28 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, 2014
By MICHAEL VIRTANEN, The Associated Press

OSWEGATCHIE, N.Y. — Life among the Amish in this northern New York community is easing back into a sense of normalcy a week after two young sisters were abducted from their family farm and as more detailed allegations emerge about their day in captivity.

Smiling men waved from their buggies at passing strangers this week as the girls' father stood with his arms draped loosely around two of his young boys, offering produce for sale at the farm stand where the 7- and 12-year-old girls were lured into a car Aug. 13.

A young girl stood on the broad porch of the white farmhouse 20 yards behind him.

Asked how his daughters were doing, the Amish farmer said, "They seem to be doing fine."

The girls, who authorities say were sexually abused, were released when their captors were apparently spooked by an intense police investigation and media coverage, authorities said. The Associated Press is not naming the family members because it generally does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

On Saturday, Nicole Vaisey, 25, and Stephen Howells Jr., 39, of nearby Hermon, were arrested on kidnapping charges.

Nicole Vaisey didn't speak during an hour-long preliminary hearing Thursday at which a town judge ordered her held without bail on a charge of second-degree kidnapping, punishable by 15 years to life in prison. So far she's charged with one count. Howells, a registered nurse who had worked at a hospital, faces the same charge. He waived his right to a hearing, and the case will go to a grand jury.

Wearing an orange-and-white striped jail jumpsuit, her wrists shackled to a chain at her waist, Vaisey showed no emotion while an investigator recounted her description of the abduction.

St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Sgt. Brooks Bigwarfe testified Vaisey told him that after they dropped Howells' three children off with his ex-wife, the pair talked about kidnapping two children. She said Howells had met the two girls a week before buying produce at the farm stand. Vaisey called it "a shopping trip," Bigwarfe said.

"They were going to make the two kids their slaves," he said.

The couple picked up their dog, a mix of golden retriever and Doberman, put it in the backseat of their Honda Civic and drove to the stand, Bigwarfe said. Howells got out, invited the girls to pet the dog and opened the back door. The younger girl reached in as her older sister became apprehensive. Howells pushed both into the car as they screamed, and Vaisey sped off.

At their house about 20 miles away down another country road with no nearby neighbors, the girls were handcuffed together at the ankles and then cuffed to a bed, authorities said. They were released to eat and use the bathroom.

Howells and Vaisey got scared after seeing online media reports of the abduction and search, Bigwarfe said.

Howells drove the girls to another rural town and let them go the next evening in an isolated area. He told them to get out of his car, go into the woods and not say anything. Instead, they knocked on the door of a home and were rescued.

Defense attorney Bradford Riendeau asked for bail for Vaisey, noting the dog groomer is a lifelong resident of the area and has family here. He also said that would protect her from possible harm from other inmates at the jail. He said she drove herself to the sheriff's office to talk to investigators and had been cooperative.

Riendeau told the AP that Vaisey herself was the slave of Howells, and that he is sadomasochistic. Howells' lawyer has not returned calls seeking comment.

District Attorney Mary Rain opposed bail, offering the judge and Riendeau copies of Howells' sealed statement, saying it showed assault against the girls by Vaisey. Rain said she is equally culpable.

From his home in Deary, Idaho, Howells' father declined to talk about his son but offered sympathy to those affected by the case.

"My heart and prayers go out to the girls, their family and all the Amish community of northern New York. I think that needs to be said," Stephen Howells Sr. said in an interview. "It's been very hard to digest, of course. I just want the Amish community, their girls and their families to know I feel sorrow and they're in my heart and in my prayers."

http://www.wpxi.com/ap/ap/us/police-couple-wanted-2-amish-girls-for-slaves/ng68X/
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Re: DELILA and FANNIE MILLER - 7 and 12 yo (8/2014)/ Charged: Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey - Oswegatchie (NW of Syracuse) NY

Post by mom_in_il on Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:59 pm

Accused kidnappers of Amish sisters charged with making child porn with three victims

By John O'Brien | jobrien@syracuse.com
on September 18, 2014 at 11:00 AM
updated September 18, 2014 at 10:50 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A St. Lawrence County couple accused of kidnapping two Amish sisters was charged today with sexually exploiting three girls by using them to produce child pornography.

A federal grand jury indicted Nicole Vaisey and Stephen Howells on child pornography charges involving the victims, who are ages 7, 8, and 12.

The federal indictment was the first time the couple was accused of sexually exploiting a third child.

Vaisey, 25, and Howells, 39, were arrested Aug. 14 on state charges of first-degree kidnapping in connection with the abduction of the Amish girls, ages 7 and 12.

The couple appeared in court this morning in handcuffs and orange-and-white jail uniforms. They sat at separate tables in the courtroom before U.S. Magistrate Therese Wiley-Dancks.

The judge asked them if they understood what was happening.

"Yes, ma'am," Vaisey said with her head down. Howells also said he understood.

In addition to the five charges, the federal indictment calls for the couple to forfeit two cars, computer equipment, a camera and cell phones as property used in the commission of the crimes.

The two cars listed in the indictment, a red 2004 Pontiac Sunfire and a white 2001 Honda Civic, were used in the kidnappings, according to a law enforcement source.

Dancks asked the defendants if they'd given truthful affidavits about their financial status to federal probation officers.

"When she asked me about the automobile, I was under the impression it was already seized," Howells said. The judge said she'd let him correct that detail.

Dancks assigned the Federal Public Defender's Office to represent Howells. She assigned Vaisey's lawyer on the state charges, Bradford Riendeau, to also handle the federal case.

Dancks ordered the defendants held in jail at least until a detention hearing on Tuesday morning. The judge asked Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Fletcher why they should not be released.

"These are crimes of violence and crimes against minor children," Fletcher said.

If they're convicted of the federal charges, Howells and Vaisey would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years, Fletcher said.

They're both accused of conspiring to entice the 7- and 12-year-old girls to engage in sexually explicit conduct for purpose of producing child pornography.

They're also both accused of producing child pornography of the 12-year-old between Aug. 13 and 15 and sending the material out by means that include the computer, the indictment said.

Howells and Vaisey were accused of producing child pornography of the 8-year-old girl from 2012 to 2014 and distributing the material, according to the indictment.

Howells alone was accused of possessing multiple images of child pornography on his computer, the indictment said.

St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain has said Vaisey and Howells sexually abused the girls during the 24 hours they were captives.

The girls were set free by their captors in the town of Richville, 20 miles from their family's farm. They had been held at the home of Howells and Vaisey at 1380 County Route 21, police have said.

Howells is a registered nurse at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg and Vaisey is a dog groomer.

Riendeau told WWNY-TV 7 News last month that Vaisey was under Howells' control for a long time. Howells often recorded sex with Vaisey, and kept handcuffs and canes in the couple's home, the lawyer said. He described Vaisey as a young woman in need of affection.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/09/accused_kidnappers_of_amish_sisters_face_new_federal_charges.html
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