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article imageUS Missionary in Haiti convicted, sent home

By Kim I. Hartman     May 17, 2010 in World
Port-au-prince - Laura Silsby, originally charged with kidnapping, criminal association along with nine other missionaries was convicted of arranging illegal travel under a 1980 statute restricting movement out of Haiti. She was then set free and put on a plane home.
The last of 10 Americans detained while trying to take 33 children out of Haiti after the Jan. 12 earthquake was freed Monday when a judge convicted her but sentenced her to time served in jail.
Prosecutor Jean-Serge Joseph said she was convicted and sentenced to the 3 months and 8 days she spent behind bars. Last week, the prosecution had recommended a six-month sentence and she faced a maximum of three years on the charge.
Laura Silsby, Executive Director of the New Life Children's Refuge was arrested after being caught trying to take the children to an orphanage being set up in the Dominican Republic. Silsby was permitted to return to her cell briefly to retrieve belongings before heading to the Port-au-Prince airport.
While many are happy to see Silsby freed, others are awaiting her arrival so they can proceed with civil litigation that had been postponed during her absence. Silsby will return home to Idaho to face even more legal troubles according to the Idaho Statesman.
The Idaho Department of Labor confirmed that 14 claims for nonpayment of wages were filed against Personal Shopper Inc. in 2008 and 2009. The company’s former marketing director also filed a civil lawsuit against Silsby and the company in October for unpaid wages, wrongful termination and fraud, the newspaper said.
Court records show that Silsby was due in Idaho court in March to answer to another civil lawsuit filed by Beer & Cain, a Boise law firm. The lawsuit says Silsby has failed to pay more than $4,500 for services rendered said MSNBC.
Silsby arrest gained national attention after it was revealed that all the so-called orphans the New Life Refuge missionaries were attempting to smuggle across the border without the approval of the Haitian government had at least one living parent, who had turned their children over to the group in hopes of securing better lives for them.
More about Haiti, Missionary, Convicted, Kidnapping, Illegal
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