Two Amish girls kidnapped in northern New York earlier this week were sexually abused during their captivity, the prosecutor said. The abuse was was revealed by St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain shortly after the St. Lawrence County sheriff alleged suspects Stephen Howells Jr. and Nicole Vaisey were prowling for easy targets and may have planned to abduct other children, the Associated Press reported.
The girls, ages 7 and 12, were abducted Wednesday from a roadside stand outside their family's farm in Oswegatchie, New York, and were released by their captors approximately 24 hours later. Howells and Vaisey were arrested and charged Friday.
The New York Times reports Bradford Riendeau, a lawyer for Vaisey, said that she made a “voluntary statement” to authorities Friday but he had been asked by the district attorney’s office not to discuss the details. Detective Sgt. Brooks Bigwarfe of the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office told the Los Angeles Times authorities were reviewing evidence the pair may have been involved in previous kidnappings.
"We're looking into other information that there may have possibly been attempts," he said. The two suspects are being held without bail, and have a preliminary court appearance scheduled for Thursday, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.
Editor's note: IBTimes, in conjunction with many other news outlets, published the identities of the girls when they were missing, and the subject of an Amber Alert. Now that allegations of sexual abuse have been raised, we will refrain from identifying them or their family in subsequent reports.