Federal authorities have arrested a
pastor in connection with aiding ex-gay mom Lisa Miller.
Timothy David Miller of Crossville,
Tennessee was arrested last week in Virginia and is scheduled to
appear in Federal District Court in Burlington on Monday, the New
York Times reported.
Mr. Miller is accused of aiding Ms.
Miller (not relation) flee the country in 2009 with her daughter
Isabella after a Vermont court ordered Ms. Miller to give up custody
of her daughter to her former lesbian partner, Janet Jenkins.
The women entered a Vermont civil union
in 2000 and planned to raise a child together. But a year after Ms.
Miller gave birth to their daughter she fled from the relationship
and renounced being gay.
In dissolving the couple's civil union,
a Family Court judge originally awarded Ms. Miller, who is the
biological mother of the child through artificial insemination,
custody of the child but granted liberal visitation rights to Ms.
Jenkins. The court reversed the ruling after it found out Ms. Miller
was denying her former partner access to their daughter.
After leaving her partner, Ms. Miller
resettled in Virginia and became deeply involved with a Baptist
church. Ms. Miller has said she objects to Ms. Jenkins having any
contact with Isabella, now 9, because she is a lesbian.
“[Isabella] knows that Ms. Jenkins'
choice to continue to live a homosexual lifestyle is a sin,” Ms.
Miller said in court documents.
According to an FBI affidavit, Mr.
Miller helped arrange in September 2009 for Ms. Miller and Isabella
to flee the country, traveling from Canada to Nicaragua, where he
worked as a missionary for Christian Aid Ministries. While in
Nicaragua, Ms. Miller and her daughter stayed in a house that is
owned by Philip Zodhiates, who has close ties to the evangelical
school Liberty University, and whose daughter, Victoria Hyden, works
at the university's law school.
Mathew D. Staver, the dean of the law
school at Liberty, represented Ms. Miller in court.
“I know very little at this point,
but I really hope that this means that Isabella is safe and well,”
Ms. Jenkins said in a statement. “I am looking forward to having
my daughter home safe with me very soon.”