BUFFALO, N.Y. – 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.