"There was no kidnapping": Charges dropped against "Sound of Freedom" investor Fabian Marta

Marta is one of thousands who contributed funds to distributor and producer Angel Studio's marketing campaign

By Melanie McFarland

Senior Critic
Published August 4, 2023 3:48PM (EDT)
Updated October 16, 2023 5:55PM (EDT)
Jim Caviezel in "Sound of Freedom" (Angel Studios)
Jim Caviezel in "Sound of Freedom" (Angel Studios)

The accessory to kidnapping charges against Fabian Marta, 51, an investor in the summertime box office hit "Sound of Freedom," have been dropped.

"There was no kidnapping," Christine Bertelson, a public information officer for the Missouri Circuit Court, told USA Today.

Bertelson attributed the charges to a "misunderstanding" between relatives of the children involved. Additionally, the court released a memorandum on Sept. 25 stating that the matter had been presented to a grand jury, who determined there was insufficient evidence. The charges were first reported by Newsweek.

Marta is one of thousands who contributed funds to "Sound of Freedom" distributor and producer Angel Studio's marketing campaign. His name appears in the film's credits alongside the more than 6,678 other individuals who contributed to the crowdfunding effort to promote the drama about child sex trafficking.

To date, “Sound of Freedom,” which was reportedly made for $14. 5 million, has grossed more than $234 million worldwide. It's currently the 10th highest-earning film of 2023 domestically, placing it ahead of the domestic takes for "Fast X" and "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny." “Sound of Freedom" was released on July 4.

On Aug. 15, Angel Studios announced that it had repaid each crowdfunding investor’s original investment, plus a 20% profit. In a statement, Angel Studios CEO Neal Harmon said he was “thrilled to be able to get funds back to them in three months.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported that Marta had been charged with kidnapping. Kidnapping accessory charges have been dropped, and the Missouri Circuit Court's public information officer said "there was no kidnapping." A link to unsubstantiated allegations about Marta on X by self-described "anti-disinfo activist" Jim Stewartson has also been removed.

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