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Today in legal history...

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Haiti officials charged 10 Americans with kidnapping children
Cody Harding at 12:00 AM ET

On February 4, 2010, Haitian authorities charged ten US citizens with kidnapping 33 Hatian children. In January 2010, they were arrested while attempting to transport the children across the Haitian border into the Dominican Republic. The Americans were associated with the Idaho-based group, New Life Children's Refuge (NLCR). Many of the children were not orphans, but given up by their parents to the missionaries in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, although group leader Laura Silsby denied charges that the missionaries intended to put the children up for adoption. Each of the ten Americans were charged with one count of kidnapping and one count of criminal association. The kidnapping charges were dropped by March 2010 and all of the missionaries, save Silsby, were allowed to return to the US. Silsby was ultimately tried on charges of irregular travel arrangements involving the children. She was convicted in May 2010 and sentenced to time served.

Haitian coat of arms

Learn more about Haiti from the JURIST news archive and read commentary on the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake from JURIST Special Guest Columnist Amanda M. Klasing in Forum.

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