Southern Baptist jailed in Haiti to stand trial on reduced charge - Word&Way

Southern Baptist jailed in Haiti to stand trial on reduced charge

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (ABP) — Southern Baptist mission volunteer Laura Silsby will stand trial in Haiti on a charge of arranging irregular travel, CNN reported April 26.

The network said Judge Bernard Saint-Vil dropped more serious charges of kidnapping and criminal association against Silsby and nine other Baptist church members from Idaho, Oklahoma and Texas, who were stopped while trying to take 33 Haitian children out of the country after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti in January

The news comes after weeks of conflicting reports about whether or not charges had been dropped against the other nine. All have been released from Haiti and are in the United States.

If convicted Silsby could face from six months to three years in prison. The trial reportedly could begin as early as next week.

The judge also charged Jean Saint-Vil, a Haitian-American pastor who reportedly helped Silsby make arrangements to pick up 33 Haitian children in the area of Port-au-Prince with plans to move them to a temporary orphanage in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Stopped at the border for not having proper documentation to take the children out of the country, Silsby told officials that they were orphans and that some lost parents in the earthquake. Officials later learned that many of the children had parents, who turned them over to the Baptists in hopes they could give them a better life.