Nightly News   |  February 04, 2010

U.S. missionaries indicted for child trafficking

And today was a critical day for those 10 American church members who were accused of trying to take children out of Haiti illegally. NBC's Michelle Kosinski reports

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BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Today was a crucial day for those 10 American church members who were accused of trying to take children out of Haiti illegally. NBC 's Michelle Kosinski is with us tonight again from Port -au-Prince. Michelle, good evening.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI reporting: Brian, it was a scene here today. These American missionaries so hopeful they would be let go that they had a chartered plane waiting. But instead, all 10 are now right back here in jail, the only one left standing in the capital after the quake, and indicted on serious charges of child abduction and criminal association , for trying to transport Haitian children across the border that they say they were trying to rescue. When they arrived back here from court, police could barely get them through the crowd of international journalists and onlookers. So what's next is an investigation that could take three months to determine whether there's enough evidence to take these Americans to trial. The Haitian government says it wants to speed up that process. In the meantime, the attorney for these missionaries will ask to have them released, but we're told, if they are, they won't be allowed to leave Haiti . Their charges carry potential sentences of up to nine years for criminal association and up to 15

for child abduction. Brian: All right, Michelle Kosinski in Port-au-Prince, Haiti , for us tonight . Michelle, thanks.

WILLIAMS: