American Missionary Convicted Then Released In Haiti

05.18.10 |

The American missionary jailed in Haiti since late January has been convicted and freed by a Haitian judge. Laura Silsby was originally charged with kidnapping after she and nine other missionaries tried to take a group of Haitian children into the neighboring Dominican Republic. The judge presiding over her case reduced the charge to illegal travel and sentenced her for time served. That allowed Silsby to return to the U.S., which she planned to do Monday night.

 Silsby and her group were arrested at the Haitian-Dominican border January 29th. They claimed they were taking 33 children to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic following a devastating earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, on January 12th. Haitian authorities alleged they did not have the necessary legal documents to take the children out of the country, and that some of the children were not orphans. The other nine missionaries were released several weeks ago. Most are members of a Baptist church in Boise, Idaho.