by Steven Ertelt
October 23, 2006
Portland, ME (LifeNews.com) — The parents of a 19 year-old Maine woman who allegedly attempted to take her to New York for a forced abortion have pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, assault and terrorizing. They were arrested in New Hampshire after apparently tying their daughter up and forcing her into their car.
In addition a judge has lifted the travel restrictions on Nicholas and Lola Kampf after a Monday hearing — meaning the couple may now leave the state. However, they are still prohibited from having any contact with Katelyn, their daughter.
Their defense lawyer, Thomas Hallett, asked Justice William Brodrick to lift the travel restriction because the couple wants to visit Nicholas Kampf’s 88-year-old father who is at a nursing home in New York.
Hallett also said the couple wants to spend time at their winter home in Florida.
Assistant District Attorney Robert "Bud" Ellis objected to the request, according to an AP report.
The couple both told Judge Brodrick they were not guilty of the charges and did not speak with reporters after the hearing.
Hallett has said the couple needs therapy and shouldn’t be jailed, but District Attorney Stephanie Anderson has said she will not drop the charges. However, she has indicated she will not ask for a full 30 year sentence.
Katelyn Kampf’s attorney Sarah Churchill told AP the restraining order against the Kampf’s has been lifted but they are still prohibited form seeing her.
"We decided to just lift it because, frankly, the bail conditions cover everything that the protection order covered. It seemed duplicative," she said.
She wouldn’t comment about Katelyn’s feelings on the proceedings saying "she would like to keep that part of her life private for the time being" but reconfirmed that she wants her parents to be punished for what they did.
"Katelyn felt a crime was committed, she reported it to police and now the process has taken hold and ultimately that case will have to be resolved in this courthouse," she said.
The Kampfs were arrested at a K-Mart in Salem, New Hampshire after Katelyn escaped when they let her out of the vehicle to use the restroom. She had obtained one of their cell phones and called police at a Staples store.
Anderson said the charges also indicate that the Kampfs pinned their daughter to the ground twice in an effort to tie her up before forcing her into their car for the trip.
Hallett claims the couple did not kidnap their daughter and that they never intended to force her to have an abortion. He said Katelyn wanted an abortion and worked with her parents on finding a suitable place for it out of state because her pregnancy was too far along to have one in Maine.
Hallett said the Kampfs are "heartbroken" by what happened and say that their intentions were quite different from what has been portrayed in the media.
He indicated they received word about Katelyn’s pregnancy the day before they were scheduled to leave for a trip for Florida. Their plans changed when they learned about the pregnancy.
Hallett said that the parents were not motivated by Katelyn’s boyfriend’s race, he is black, but were concerned about her because she had dropped out of George Washington University and returned to Maine without telling them.
He also told AP the Kampfs are disappointed that Katelyn has been granted court protection from them seeing her.
"The whole thing is really disturbing. Not being able to talk to your daughter at a time when the daughter needs their attention is disturbing," he said. "Her parents still love her very much."
But Churchill retorted that Hallett’s comments were "quite upsetting" and that Katelyn stands by her statements that she did not want an abortion and her parents were attempting to force her to have one.
"There are two sides to every story," Churchill said. "I believe that it’s Katie’s story in the end that’s going to prevail."
Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion previously told the Associated Press that Katelyn 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.
The Kampfs allegedly used 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.
The incident came at a time when Congress was debating a bill to prevent taking teenagers to another state for secret abortions. Abortion advocates eventually prevented the final version of the bill from getting a vote after both the House and Senate initially approved it.
The couple is free on $100,000 bond.