The Alabama pastor, Richard Lee Shahan, was on his way to marry his boyfriend in England when he was arrested at the airport.
After going through 3,000 of his emails, prosecutors say they learned of Shahan’s plan to meet his boyfriend in Europe, traveling first to Kazakhstan—where he’d told relatives and friends he was going on a three-year mission trip—and then settling in the UK.
“He planned to become a citizen there and begin a new life with his boyfriend… who he intended to marry,” Deputy Jefferson County District Attorney Leigh Gwathney told AL.com. “He had no intention of ever returning to the United States. He had no home to return to and he had said his goodbyes to his family.”