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U.S. missionary held in Haiti is free, lawyer says

By the CNN Wire Staff
Laura Silsby was jailed January 29, along with nine other U.S. missionaries who were later released.
Laura Silsby was jailed January 29, along with nine other U.S. missionaries who were later released.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Laura Silsby freed from jail by a Haitian court, her defense attorney says
  • U.S. missionary was accused of trying to take nearly three dozen children out of Haiti after quake
  • Silsby scheduled to fly back to United States around 6 p.m. ET
RELATED TOPICS
  • Laura Silsby
  • Haiti
  • Earthquakes

(CNN) -- Laura Silsby, the American missionary accused of trying to take nearly three dozen children out of Haiti after the devastating January 12 earthquake, has been freed from jail by a Haitian court, her defense attorney said Monday.

Silsby is at the Port-au-Prince airport preparing to board an American Airlines flight to the United States, scheduled to depart at 5 p.m. (6 p.m. ET), said her lawyer, Chiller Roy.

Roy declined to comment on reports that Silsby had been convicted and freed on time served. A Haitian prosecutor was seeking a six-month prison sentence in the case.

Silsby was charged with trying to arrange "irregular travel" for 33 children she planned to take to an orphanage she was building in the Dominican Republic.

She was jailed January 29, along with nine other American missionaries who were later released.

Last month, Judge Bernard Saint-Vil dropped kidnapping and criminal association charges against Silsby and the other missionaries.

They were stopped while trying to take the children out of the country; authorities said the group didn't have proper legal documentation.

Silsby originally said the children were orphaned or abandoned, but the Haitian government and the orphans' charity SOS Children say that all have at least one living parent. Some said they placed their children in Silsby's care because that was the only way they knew to ensure a better quality of life for them.

The 10 Americans, many of whom belong to a Baptist church in Idaho, have said they were trying to help the children get to a safe place after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake flattened cities and towns in Haiti.

CNN's Lonzo Cook contributed to this report.

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