Amish child abductors sentenced on kidnapping charges

Booking photos of Stephen Howells II (left) and Nicole Vaisey. Source: St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office.

CANTON, N.Y. – A Hermon couple has been sentenced on state kidnapping charges after snatching and sexually abusing two Amish girls near Heuvelton last summer.

Stephen Howells II, 40, and his girlfriend Nicole Vaisey, 26, were each sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison for guilty pleas on second-degree kidnapping, plus $425 in fines.

The New York State sentence is dwarfed by the federal conviction on Dec. 17, 2015, which saw Howells receive 580 years in a federal prison and Vaisey got 300 years.

The federal conviction was on charges related to sexual exploitation and child pornography.

Howells and Vaisey kidnapped two Amish sisters – who were seven and 12-years-old at the time – from a roadside vegetable stand outside Heuvelton.

The act prompted a massive search and generated national headlines in the United States.