Federal authorities are making their case in New York against a Virginia man accused of interfering in a same-sex couple's child custody fight.

Opening statements began Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Buffalo in the trial of Philip Zodhiates (zo-dee-YA'-taze). Prosecutors say he helped a woman and her daughter flee the country in 2009 when it was clear the woman was losing a custody battle to her former partner.

Zodhiates has pleaded not guilty to international parental kidnapping and other charges.

Prosecutors say that after Lisa Miller renounced her homosexuality, Zodhiates drove her and her then 7-year-old daughter from Virginia to the Rainbow Bridge in New York where they crossed into Canada on their way to Nicaragua.

A Vermont family court had given Miller's former partner, Janet Jenkins, visitation rights.