Maine Couple in Forced Abortion Bid Face Kidnapping Charges There

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 25, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Maine Couple in Forced Abortion Bid Face Kidnapping Charges There Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 25
, 2006

Salem, NH ( — New Hampshire prosecutors have dropped kidnapping charges against a Maine couple that kidnapped their 19 year-old daughter and attempted to drive her to New York for a forced abortion. The move came a day after authorities in Maine filed kidnapping charges against the couple, Nicholas and Lola Kampf.

If convicted on the charges, they could face as much as 30 years in prison but Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson indicated she won’t seek the maximum sentence.

Anderson filed the charges on Thursday but they didn’t go into effect until Monday so the Kampfs could turn themselves in to officials. They had previously been held in New Hampshire under charges there after police nabbed them at a K-Mart department store on their way to New York.

The pair both posted $100,000 bail last week and have turned themselves in on the Maine charges.

Anderson said the parents have indicated they were concerned about the baby’s father, 22 year-old Reme Johnson. He began serving a 6-month jail sentence for theft two weeks ago in Maine and has previous felony convictions.

"I think the parents were concerned that he had a criminal record and that he was serving a criminal jail sentence," Anderson told AP. "I think that motivated their desire to unentangle their daughter from a lifelong relationship with this man."

However, Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion told the Associated Press that Katelyn Kamp, the daughter, said her parents wanted her to have an abortion because Johnson is black.

Dion previously indicated that Katelyn said 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."

Johnson’s mother, Peggy Johnson, told the Boston Globe 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.

Katelyn has received a restraining order preventing her parents from contacting her and is staying with the Johnson family.

The Kampfs stand accused of using a shotgun to forcibly abduct their daughter. They tied her up 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 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.

Police said a physical fight led to the kidnapping.

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 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.

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.