Haiti drops charges against 9 Baptists

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (BP)--The charges against nine of 10 Baptist volunteers who were jailed in Haiti but are now free have been dropped, according to multiple reports.

Kyle Hines, a spokesman for Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, told CNN he had been told by the U.S. State Department that the charges of child kidnapping were dropped. One of the 10 volunteers, Laura Silsby, remains in jail.

"The senator is pleased to hear that the charges have been dropped and is looking forward to the situation being resolved," Hines said.

The Associated Press quoted a lawyer in Haiti who also said the charges were dropped.

When eight of the volunteers were released Feb. 17 and allowed to fly back to the United States, charges were still pending. That was also the case when a ninth volunteer, Charisa Coulter, was released March 8.

The 10 volunteers were arrested Jan. 30. They had planned on taking 33 children across the border to an orphanage being started in the Dominican Republic.

Nine of the 10 volunteers are members of Southern Baptist churches. Silsby entered her 77th straight day in prison Friday.


Compiled by Michael Foust, an assistant editor of Baptist Press.

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