You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Tense Ferguson awaiting word
    FERGUSON, Mo. – Crews erected barricades Saturday around the building where a grand jury has been considering whether to indict the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, even as a grand jury decision seemed unlikely this
  • Former DC Mayor Marion Barry dies at 78
    Divisive and flamboyant, maddening and beloved, Marion Barry outshone every politician in the 40-year history of District of Columbia self-rule. But for many, his legacy was not defined by the accomplishments and failures of his four terms as mayor
  • Cleanup on, flood threat looms after huge NY snow
    The weekend offered the Buffalo region a chance to dig out of record levels of deep snow before a flood warning took effect because of rising temperatures and rain.

Hearing set in Amish girls’ kidnapping in NY

– A woman accused along with her boyfriend of abducting and sexually abusing two young Amish sisters is due in court for a preliminary hearing.

The lawyer for 25-year-old Nicole Vaisey said she was the victim of an abusive relationship with 39-year-old Stephen Howells Jr.

“She was in a master-slave relationship with Howells,” attorney Bradford Riendeau said. “I believe she’s not as culpable as he is.”

Vaisey will be in court on Thursday.

Authorities said Howells waived his right to a similar hearing and his case will go straight to a grand jury in St. Lawrence County near the Canadian border.

The couple from Hermon is in jail without bail. They were arrested and arraigned Friday, accused of abducting the 7-year-old and 12-year-old sisters from the family’s rural farm stand.

The sisters turned up the next night at the door of a house 15 miles from their home. The couple at that house brought them home.

District Attorney Mary Rain said last week that they were sexually abused and other charges are likely.

St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said the couple were prowling for easy targets and may have planned to abduct other children. He said the girls were able to provide details to investigators about their time in captivity.

There was no answer late Tuesday at the St. Lawrence County Conflict Defender’s Office, which is representing Howells.

The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of sexual abuse and is not naming the girls.