The New York Amish kidnapping case has reached its end, and Judge Glenn Suddaby has sentenced 26-year-old Nicole Vaisey and her boyfriend, 40-year-old Stephen Howells, to the maximum punishment possible. Both of them admitted in state and federal courts that they were guilty of kidnapping and sexually abusing two Amish sisters. Altogether, there were six female victims kidnapped by the couple, and they were kept shackled to beds and used as sex slaves.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, the Amish community rewarded Jeffrey and Pamela Stinson after they rescued the two sisters from their captors.
The Amish girls’ abduction shocked the nation. The sisters were kidnapped from an Amish roadside vegetable stand and brought back to the home of Vaisey and Howells. Authorities say the Amish kidnapping victims were lured into the back of a vehicle by the couple’s dog.
“When he started forcing them into the vehicle, they were both screaming and yelling,” explained police Sgt. Brooks Bigwarfe back in 2014.
During the next 24 hours, the two Amish sisters, who were ages 6 and 12 at the time of the kidnapping, were reportedly handcuffed and shackled to a bed. During this time, they were both sexually and mentally abused, although thankfully they did not suffer any major physical injuries.
The Amish kidnapping had apparently been planned for weeks in advance, and authorities believed that if they had not been arrested then, another kidnapping would have occurred.
“There was the definite potential that there was going to be other victims from these two,” explained Sheriff Wells at the time. “They were looking for other opportunities to victimize.”
The two perpetrators apparently had a vested interest in rape. Nicole Vaisey was a senior psychology major at Mercyhurst College when she published research on attitudes toward rape and how watching pornography can alter a person’s mindset. When the Amish kidnapping trial first began, a lawyer for Vaisey tried to paint her as a victim, claiming that she had a BDSM master and slave relationship with her boyfriend, Stephen Howells.
“I don’t think she had any control over what went on in the relationship,” said lawyer Bradford Riendeau at the time. “That was the essential ground rule of it. He told her what to do.”
During the remainder of the trial, Howells actually supported this position. According to the Associated Press, he told Judge Suddaby that he took advantage of the “inexperienced” Vaisey and “twisted her around” for his own sexual gratification.
“The evil that I’ve done is my own,” he said.
The judge rejected Vaisey’s claim that she was completely under the control of Howells as a sex slave and also reprimanded the boyfriend for using his job as registered nurse to obtain the drugs used to subdue the rape victims.
“You are the threat that parents worry about every day,” Suddaby told Howells. “You are the nightmare that never goes away for children.”
Defense attorneys argued that the couple should receive reduced sentences since both Howells and Vaisey had also suffered from sexual abuse in their past.
“At age 65 after years of imprisonment, will Nicole Vaisey still be a risk to the community?” attorney Bradford Riendeau stated in a memo.
Judge Suddaby ended the New York Amish kidnapping case by sentencing both Nicole Vaisey and Stephen Howells to the maximum possible prison terms based upon U.S. federal law. Based upon the 21 charges against Howells, the man was sentenced to 580 years in prison. The sentencing for Vaisey was only slightly less severe with 10 charges, but she still received a life sentence of 300 years. In addition, the couple still faces sentences for the New York state kidnapping charges.
[Image via St. Lawrence county Sheriff]