Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Haiti prosecutor seeks 6-month sentence for U.S. missionary

Laura Silsby, right, was jailed January 29, along with nine other American missionaries who were later released.
Laura Silsby, right, was jailed January 29, along with nine other American missionaries who were later released.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Laura Silsby's attorney, Chiller Roy, said ruling expected in next few days
  • Silsby charged with trying to arrange "irregular travel" for 33 children
  • She planned to take them 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
RELATED TOPICS

(CNN) -- A Haitian prosecutor asked for a six-month prison sentence Thursday for an American missionary accused of trying to take nearly three dozen children out of the country after a devastating and deadly earthquake in January.

Laura Silsby's attorney, Chiller Roy, said the judge is expected to make a ruling in the next few days.

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.

Roy said the prosecutor told the court during Thursday's proceedings that there were mitigating circumstances in Silsby's case because of the emergency nature of the situation after the January 12 earthquake.

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

 
Quick Job Search