Stephen Howells, the man accused of kidnapping and abusing two young Amish girls, pleaded guilty on Friday to 21 federal charges, including making child pornography with the girls and four other children.
Howells, 39, and his girlfriend Nicole Vaisey were arrested last year after the Amish girls, ages 7 and 12, were abducted from their family’s roadside farm stand in front of their home near the Canadian border on Aug. 13, 2014. They were released the next day – after they had been sexually assaulted.
Prosecutors claimed that Howells, a registered nurse, drugged and sexually abused six children between December 2012 and August 2014, according to the Associated Press.
He told a judge that he gave the children sleeping and pain medications to sedate them, the Post-Standard reports. He then sexually abused them and filmed it.
Howells faces up to 580 years in prison if the judge decides to sentence him to consecutive terms.
Meanwhile, Vaisey, 25, is scheduled to go to trial in June on 10 charges. Her lawyer claims that she was manipulated by Howells, forced to be a slave in a sadomasochistic relationship.
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