Captors Sexually Abused Amish Girls: DA

Nicole Vaisey's lawyer claims she was in abusive relationship

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 17, 2014 9:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – The two Amish girls kidnapped from a roadside farmstand in Upstate New York were sexually abused by their captors, St. Lawrence County DA Mary Rain confirms to the Syracuse Post-Standard. Stephen Howells, 39, and 25-year-old girlfriend Nicole Vaisey have each been charged with two counts of kidnapping; it's unclear if they'll face further charges in the case. An attorney for Vaisey, however, is wasting no time in distancing her from Howells. "She appears to have been the slave and he was the master," Bradford Riendeau tells the New York Times. "She was not the lead person or a coequal in this at all." Rains is not buying that argument, countering that "We are confident that she was equally involved in the allegations as he was."

In this Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 photo, deputies escort Nicole F. Vaisey, left, and Stephen M. Howells II, to their arraignment on first-degree kidnapping charges at Fowler Town Court.
In this Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 photo, deputies escort Nicole F. Vaisey, left, and Stephen M. Howells II, to their arraignment on first-degree kidnapping charges at Fowler Town Court.   (AP Photo/Watertown Daily Times, Melanie Kimber Lago)
Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey, who were arraigned Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 on charges they intended to physically harm or sexually abuse two Amish sisters.
Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey, who were arraigned Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 on charges they intended to physically harm or sexually abuse two Amish sisters.   (AP Photo/St. Lawrence County Sheriff)
A pair of investigators walk on the property of Stephen Howells II and Nicole F. Vaisey, in Hermon, NY, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.
A pair of investigators walk on the property of Stephen Howells II and Nicole F. Vaisey, in Hermon, NY, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.   (AP Photo/Watertown Daily Times, Melanie Kimber Lago)
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