Vermont

Virginia man convicted in Vermont same-sex kidnap case

In this Sept. 22, 2016 photo, Virginia businessman Philip Zodhiates leaves U.S. District Court in Buffalo, N.Y., where he was on trial for international parental kidnapping and conspiracy. Zodhiates was convicted of the charges on Thursday, Sept. 29 after prosecutors say he helped a mother move her daughter out of the country and away from her ex-partner. (AP Photo/Carolyn Thompson)

In this Sept. 22, 2016 photo, Virginia businessman Philip Zodhiates leaves U.S. District Court in Buffalo, N.Y., where he was on trial for international parental kidnapping and conspiracy. Zodhiates was convicted of the charges on Thursday, Sept. 29 after prosecutors say he helped a mother move her daughter out of the country and away from her ex-partner. (AP Photo/Carolyn Thompson)  (The Associated Press)

A Virginia businessman has been found guilty of international parental kidnapping after getting involved in a Vermont same-sex couple's child custody fight.

A federal jury in Buffalo returned the verdict against Philip Zodhiates (zoh-dee-YAH'-taze) on Thursday following a trial that began last week. Zodhiates was also found guilty of conspiracy.

He faces up to eight years in prison.

Prosecutors say the Waynesboro, Virginia, resident helped a woman and her 7-year-old daughter leave the country in 2009 when it was clear the woman — who had renounced her homosexuality — was losing a custody battle to her former partner.

Prosecutors say that Zodhiates drove Lisa Miller and the child from Virginia to the Rainbow Bridge, in western New York, where they crossed into Canada on their way to Nicaragua.