by Steven Ertelt
September 19, 2006
Salem, NH (LifeNews.com) — A Maine couple that kidnapped their pregnant 19 year-old daughter and attempted to take her to New York to have an abortion did so because they were apparently upset that her boyfriend is black. The couple was apprehended after their daughter escaped in a department store and used a cell phone to call police.
A Maine sheriff said Tuesday that the kidnapping was racially motivated.
Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion told the Associated Press that Katelyn Kampf, the daughter, indicated her mother "was pretty irate at the fact that the child’s father was black, and she had made a number of disparaging remarks about that."
He said the Kampfs had treated Katelyn’s boyfriend well until they received a phone call from her last Thursday indicating she was pregnant. That apparently "changed the dynamic" he said.
Dion indicated Katelyn told him her mother "kept referring to the baby as a thing, as ‘It,’ and there were other comments made."
Nicholas and Lola Kampf were arraigned on Monday and bail was set at $100,000 each. Police granted Katelyn an emergency restraining order preventing her parents from having any contact with her and she is staying with her boyfriend’s family in Maine.
The couple’s attorney told AP that there is no evidence the Kampfs harmed their daughter or her unborn baby.
"What we’re dealing with here is a terrible family tragedy with some unfortunate misunderstandings and some overreaction, perhaps on all sides — but not an attempt to terrorize anybody," the attorney said at the arraignment.
Katelyn’s boyfriend, 22 year-old Reme Johnson began serving a 6 month jail sentence for theft last week in Maine and has previous felony convictions, AP reported.
His mother, Peggy Johnson, told the Boston Glove that Katelyn is telling the truth about what happened.
"She has no reason to lie. They found all the stuff in the car. She would not have gone with them," she said.
The Kampfs tied up their daughter Katelyn with rope and loaded her into the back seat of their car. But police said she was able to get one of her parents’ cell phones and called police in a K-Mart store when her parents thought she was using the restroom.
When police nabbed the Kampfs, they found rope, duct tape, scissors and a .22-caliber rifle in the vehicle. Nicholas had a loaded .22-caliber magazine clip in the pockets of his pants.
If they are extradited to Maine and, if they are convicted of kidnapping, they could face anywhere from seven and a half years to 15 years in prison.
Police said a physical fight on Friday morning led to the kidnapping.
Dion indicated the Kampfs, who formerly owned the State Theater in Portland, thought the abortion should be done in New York because the baby was in late stages of pregnancy.
The incident comes at a time when Congress has passed legislation to prohibit non-parents from taking a minor teenager across state lines for an abortion. The bill has been approve by both the House and Senate, but Senate Democrats used a procedural motion to prevent a final version of the bill from going to President Bush for his signature.