Appeals court hears same-sex custody case in Conn.

Pastor Kenneth Miller, left, stands with his wife Linda Miller, as he waits to enter a hearing at the University of Connecticut Law School, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in Hartford, Conn. Miller is appealing his 2012 conviction in Vermont federal court for helping a woman and her child flee the country and avoid a custody dispute with her former lesbian partner. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The lawyer for a Mennonite pastor convicted of helping a woman and child flee the country amid a child custody battle says he should not have been charged in Vermont.

Pastor Kenneth Miller, of Stuarts Draft, Va., is appealing his 2012 conviction in Vermont federal court for aiding in international parental kidnapping. His 27-month prison sentence is delayed while he appeals.

A federal appeals court heard arguments in his case Monday in Hartford, Conn.

Miller’s attorney David Williams argues the woman fled from Virginia and crossed the border in New York, and that no element of the crime took place in Vermont.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia Cowley says the crime took place in Canada when Lisa Miller crossed the border, and its impact was in Vermont, where her former same-sex partner lives.

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