March 18, 2010

Katelyn Kampf facing charges

DAVID HENCH

— By

Staff Writer

Katelyn Kampf, who accused her parents of kidnapping her to force her to get an abortion last year, has legal problems of her own, as she faces charges of engaging in prostitution and failing to show up for a court date.

Kampf, 20, was released from the Cumberland County Jail on $500 cash bail this week and is scheduled to appear in Portland District Court on Jan. 14 to face the charges. She was charged by Portland police on Oct. 25 as part of a prostitution sting.

Police arranged to meet a stripper from Perfect Pleasures, which had advertised in an alternative weekly newspaper. They say that Kampf met them at the DoubleTree Hotel on Congress Street and requested $150 for an erotic dance and another $100 to engage in a sex act.

Kampf was not arrested but was ordered to appear in Portland District Court on Dec. 4 to answer to the misdemeanor charge, which is punishable by a fine of as much as $1,000. She was arrested on Dec. 6 and charged with failing to appear in court.

A woman who answered the telephone with the number listed with the court hung up after a reporter identified himself on Thursday.

In September 2006, Kampf was at the center of a case that drew national attention.

Kampf said that her parents, Nicholas and Lola Kampf of North Yarmouth, were upset by her relationship with Reme Johnson, a black man who was a convicted felon and faced deportation to his native South Africa. They were even more upset when she told them she was pregnant.

Kampf told authorities that her parents forced her into their car and drove toward New York, where they intended to force her to get an abortion. She told police that she escaped at a department store after saying she needed to use the bathroom.

Police found duct tape, rope and a rifle in the car.

Police initially charged Nicholas and Lola Kampf, prominent Portland real estate developers, with kidnapping. In October, they pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of assault and disorderly conduct.

The assault charges will be dismissed after 18 months if the two undergo psychological evaluations, pay a total of $5,000 to cover Katelyn Kampf's counseling fees and attend family counseling with their daughter.

Katelyn Kampf objected to the plea agreement, saying it let her parents off too easy. She has continued to be a vocal critic of the plea, appearing Tuesday on ABC's ''Good Morning America'' to recount her experience.

Seth Berner, co-chairman of the legal redress committee for the NAACP Portland Branch, represented Katelyn Kampf at the time of her parents' plea. He said the system let her down just as her parents did, and her current legal problems may be related.

''It does not surprise me Katelyn finds herself in financial desperation,'' Berner said in an interview last month, shortly after Katelyn Kampf was charged.

He said that he had not discussed the charges with her, but that her parents had treated her in a way that was likely to alienate her. The courts and prosecutors did not help, he said, because they treated the ordeal as only a family squabble.

''It was going to only confirm a feeling on her part she was on her own. It may well have left her feeling as if she had no resources and was not in a position to be able to call on her parents,'' he said.

Kampf's son, D'Andre, will be 1 year old next month.

Kampf has had other brushes with the law.

When she was arrested by Portland police on Dec. 6 there were other warrants from another agency, police said, though they could not provide specifics. She has previously been charged with theft and driving with a suspended license.

She was arrested on Nov. 13 on a York County warrant.

Her only conviction listed with the State Bureau of Identification is for theft. On Aug. 10, she was arrested at the Hannaford supermarket at 295 Forest Ave. in Portland after she tried to steal two bottles of cognac worth $60, police said.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

dhench@pressherald.com

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