The two Saint Lawrence County residents already charged with kidnapping two Amish girls now face child sexual exploitation and child pornography charges. Stephen Howells, 39, and Nicole Vaisey, 25, of Hermon were indicted today in Syracuse.
Richard Hartunian, the US Attorney for the Northern District of New York, says Howells and Vaisey could each receive between 15 and 30 years in prison if convicted of any of the four charges they both face in the indictment. Howells could also receive up to 20 years in prison if he is found guilty of producing child pornography.
“This indictment alleges that Howells and Vaisey enticed and coerced children to engage in sexual conduct and made a video recording of it.”
Hartunian says they are not identifying the two Amish girls and the third victim for their protection, and did not identify any possible relationship between the three. He also says that the Department of Justice will continue to provide support and assistance to the victims of child abuse while maintaining that they will pursue those responsible to the highest extent of the law.
“I want to assure everyone that the Department of Justice is committed to protecting the safety and well-being of every child. We’ve placed a high priority on combating sexual exploitation of minors. We will continue to work closely with our state and local partners to identify and prosecute anyone who preys on children.”
Hartunian also says it is possible that there could be other victims in this case. He asked that anyone with useful information about the case to contact the FBI’s Tip Line at 1-800-CALL-FBI. They can also submit the information online through the FBI's website.