Prosecutor: Captors Sexually Abused 2 Amish Girls

By Lauren Maloney

Published 08/16 2014 12:12AM

Updated 08/17 2014 10:06PM

UPDATE: August 17, 2014

HERMON, NY - New developments show two young Amish sisters, abducted last week in Saint Lawrence County New York where sexually abused by their captors.

The girls, ages seven and twelve, were taken as they worked from a roadside farm stand in Oswegatchie Wednesday.

They were set free by their captors 24 hours later and turned up safely at the door of a home 15 miles from where they were taken.

More charges are expected soon for the abductors, Stephen Howells Junior, 39, and Nicole Vaisey, 25, both of Hermon New York.

The two were arrested and arraigned Friday on abduction charges.

A neighbor who knows Howells Junior says he never expected this from him.

"There is a ton of knots in my stomach still just thinking that it happened so close and that we didn't see anything for 24 hours, and we're very vigilant about what's going on. I think he did a very good job keeping it down low, I don't know when he did his movements and stuff," Jamie Matthews, Stephen Howells Jr.'s neighbor.

The suspects are being held without bail.

A preliminary court appearance is scheduled for this coming Thursday at 4pm.

PREVIOUS STORY: August 16, 2014

HERMON, NY - New details in the investigation regarding the two Amish girls who were kidnapped in Saint Lawrence County.

Authorities say the two people arrested for taking both girls and intended to do them harm.

Friday evening, police arrested Stephen Howells, 39, and Nicole Vaisey, 25, of Hermon, New York. 

They've been charged with 1st degree kidnapping with intent to physically harm or sexually abuse the two girls.

The couple was arraigned Friday, and are being held without bail until their preliminary hearing on Thursday morning.

Authorities say more charges against them are pending and the girl's family has an order of protection against them.

Saint Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells says the girls' testimony helped in locating the suspects.

"The fact that the girls were strong. They gave investigators some different facts about their time in captivity and with those details was instrumental in us being able to make the arrests... we feel that there was the

definite potential that there was going to be other victims from these two," said Sheriff Wells.

Authorities say they investigated the couple's home on County Route 21 in Hermon.

The girls went missing on Wednesday from their family's farm stand in the Town of Owsegatchie.

Previous Story: August 15, 2014

Hermon, NY - St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said his team could be processing a home on County Route 21 for a few days.

That's where Stephen Howells II, age 39 and Nicole Vaisey, age 25 were arrested around 8:30 Friday night.

For a better part of the afternoon, police and sheriff's deputies had set up a roadblock around Route 21 where the road connects with Marshville Road.  It was reported that's where police found two vehicles matching the description of the cars connected to the kidnapping.

Our sister station in New York said a tow truck pulled away one red car, and a white car in Hermon, around 9:30 p.m.

Sheriff Wells told reporters on Friday night that he gives credit to both girls, for leading them to Howells and Vaisey.  Wells said the girls were very influential.

The Millers were reunited with their parents late Thursday, after they had been missing for more than 24 hours.  An AMBER Alert went into effect Wednesday, and was cancelled a day later.

A news conference has been scheduled for Saturday at 8 a.m.

Stick with FOX44 & ABC22 for updates starting at 6:30 Saturday on ABC22 News.

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