Cops: Couple Lured Amish Girls With Puppy

Vaisey, Howells 'planned to make girls their slaves'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 22, 2014 1:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – The upstate New York couple accused of kidnapping and sexually abusing two Amish sisters planned to make the girls their slaves, police say. At a hearing yesterday, a police officer testified that Nicole Vaisey and Stephen Howells were on what they called a "shopping trip" when they seized the sisters, ages 7 and 12, from their family's farm stand, 7 News reports. The officer said Vaisey lured the girls to the couple's car with an offer to pet their puppy and Howells pushed them inside as they screamed.

The couple left the girls "handcuffed together at the ankles and handcuffed to the bedpost because they were scared they were going to go out the window and flee the house" and freed them after 24 hours out of fear they would be caught, police say. Vaisey's defense attorney said Vaisey, 25, was in a "master-slave relationship" with Howells and isn't "as culpable as he is." Earlier this week, the girls' father said he felt sorry for the suspects, the AP reports. "It's sad," he said. "They must have ruined their whole life."

Deputies escort Nicole Vaisey, 25, into Fowler Town Court in Fowler, NY for her preliminary hearing yesterday.
Deputies escort Nicole Vaisey, 25, into Fowler Town Court in Fowler, NY for her preliminary hearing yesterday.   (AP Photo/Watertown Daily Times, Jason Hunter)
These images provided by the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office shows the booking photo of Stephen Howells II, left, and Nicole Vaisey.
These images provided by the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office shows the booking photo of Stephen Howells II, left, and Nicole Vaisey.   (AP Photo/St. Lawrence County Sheriff)
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