Maine Couple’s Lawyers Talk Plea Deal In Attempted Forced Abortion Case

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 28, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Maine Couple’s Lawyers Talk Plea Deal In Attempted Forced Abortion Case Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 28
, 2007

Portland, ME ( — Lawyers for a Maine couple who kidnapped their pregnant 19 year-old daughter and attempted to take her to New York and force her to have an abortion discussed the case with a local judge on Tuesday. Attorneys for Nicholas and Lola Kampf hope to avoid a trial and to enter a plea agreement in the case.

The Kampfs have been charged with kidnapping, assaulting and terrorizing their daughter, Katelyn.

They were arrested in a New Hampshire shopping center September 15 on their way to New York in an attempt to take Katelyn to a state with more lenient abortion laws in order to order her to have a later-term abortion.

Their daughter, who they had allegedly tied up initially at gunpoint, was able to flee after using the restroom and grabbed her parents cell phone to alert police.

The Kampfs maintain their innocence and say the matter was a family dispute and that their daughter is lying to authorities about what happened.

Daniel Lilley, attorney for Lola Kampf, told the Portland Press Herald newspaper, "We’re saying, ‘This is a family matter,’ and (the district attorney) is saying, ‘Just because it’s family doesn’t mean it’s not criminal."

Lilley said the Kampfs, who have been restrained from seeing their daughter, hope to visit with her and put the matter behind them and don’t want to go to trial.

But District Attorney Stephanie Anderson told the Herald that she’s not sure she will agree to forgo a trial in the case.

Neither parent attended the Cumberland County Superior Court hearing and both are free on $100,000 bond and could face as much as 30 years in prison on the charges.

Much of the hearing focused on the evidence in question and Justice Thomas Humphrey agreed that the defense is entitled to any interview materials from police in New Hampshire, where the couple was apprehended.

The newspaper reported he also scheduled a hearing for April 24 on more evidence to respond to defense requests to keep it out of a trial if one is held. The Kampf’s lawyers say the evidence was obtained illegally.

Katelyn has been staying with friends and other family members and the Portland paper reports there is no word on whether she had given birth, although her baby would have had to be born by now.

The Kampfs lawyers said previously that he couple did not kidnap their daughter and that they never intended to force her to have an abortion. They 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.

Kampf attorney Tom Hallett aid 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 and that Katelyn’s black boyfriend, who has been in and out of jail, was the father.

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.

Katelyn’s attorney Sarah Churchill previously said she wants her parents to be punished for their crimes.

She indicated Katelyn Kampf "has made known her position of what happened to law enforcement and she just wants the criminal process to see its way through so they can be punished for what they have done."

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."

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.