New Life Children's Refuge

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from wiki: [New Life Children’s Refuge (NLCR) was founded in November 2009 by Laura Silsby (now Silsby-Gayler) and Charisa Coulter, who are both members of the Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho.] "New Life Children’s Refuge (NLCR) was founded in November 2009 by Laura Silsby (now Silsby-Gayler) and Charisa Coulter, who are both members of the Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho."
"...The charity claimed to be in the process of acquiring land to build an orphanage as well as a church and school in Magante on the Northern coast of the Dominican Republic. NLCR further intended to provide adoption opportunities for American "loving Christian parents". On January 12, 2010, Haiti was struck by a major earthquake and NLCR quickly formed the "Haitian Orphan Rescue Mission", a group of ten people from the Central Valley Baptist Church and the East Side Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho. Both churches are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The mission's plan was to go to Haiti and bring a hundred orphans to Cabarete, Dominican Republic, where NLCR had leased a hotel to serve as a temporary orphanage..."
"The ten missionaries, led by Silsby, flew to the Dominican Republic on January 22, chartered a bus, and arrived in Haiti on January 25. American journalist Anne-Christine d'Adesky claims that she met Silsby the day before the missionaries' entry into Haiti. The NLCR's leader explained that she had a letter from Dominican officials authorizing the transfer of orphans to the hotel in Cabarete. D'Adesky warned Silsby that she also required proper paperwork from Haitian authorities. On January 26, the group gathered forty children and set off for the Dominican Republic. They were stopped by a policeman, who explained that their actions were illegal. Undeterred the group set out to collect orphans from the devastated town of Calebasse (or Callabas) and from the slum of Le Citron in Port-au-Prince. 33 children (20 from Calebasse and 13 from Le Citron) were put under the mission's care. On the night of January 29, the missionaries were arrested while trying to cross the Dominican border without proper authorization. They denied any wrongdoing and maintained that they were doing God's will by helping orphaned victims of the quake. The children were sent to the SOS Children's Village orphanage in Croix-des-Bouquets, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, and it became clear that most (if not all) of them were not orphans. NLCR missionaries maintained that they were told that the children were orphaned. In turn, people in Calebasse and SOS Children's Villages accused the missionaries of lying about their intentions. Although the children's relatives were told that they would be able to visit them and eventually take them back, the NLCR's mission statement clearly outlined plans for adoption.
On February 4, the ten Baptists were formally charged with criminal association and kidnapping for trying to smuggle 33 children out of Haiti. In an interview, the United States Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten, stated that the U.S. justice system would not interfere and added "the Haitian justice system will do what it has to do." On February 17, eight of the ten members of the NLCR team were released by Haitian judge Bernard Saint-Vil. They were immediately flown back to Miami on a US Air Force transport plane. Laura Silsby-Gayler and Charisa Coulter, were held over for more questioning. On March 8 Coulter was also released, but Silsby remained incarcerated. The charges against Silsby were eventually reduced from conspiracy and child abduction to "arranging irregular travel". Her trial began on May 13, and prosecutors asked for a 6-month prison sentence, arguing that Silsby was fully aware that she did not have proper authorization to take the children out of the country. On May 17, she was found guilty and sentenced to the time served in jail prior to the trial..."






Questions

- possible to get the documents/names of the contributors to this 'charity'? - did the other 8 NLCR people get immunity deals? - does Haiti have FOIA request to be able to aquire the police interviews? - Silsby-Gayer have a full court criminal, or small civil trial? - can we aquire the trial documents?


See Also